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Natality and Relational Transcendence in Humanist Chaplaincy

Department of Humanist Chaplaincy Studies for a Plural Society, University of Humanistic Studies, 3512 HD Utrecht, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gaby Jacobs and Antonio Muñoz-García
Religions 2022, 13(4), 271;
Received: 20 January 2022 / Revised: 25 February 2022 / Accepted: 15 March 2022 / Published: 22 March 2022
Every life has a beginning and an end. Natality and mortality are both profound existential fundaments of life that may lead us to question meaning in life as well as to find meaning. In spiritual care, the focus is often on mortality as a source of existential suffering, and on ways to deal with such suffering according to worldview traditions. In humanist traditions, mortality is not only seen as an existential threat but also as an existential given that people need to embrace to find meaning in life. Natality has received much less attention, both in spiritual care and in humanist thought. In this article, we build on philosophical ideas of Arendt and Butler to explore the significance of natality for a humanist perspective on meaning in life and spiritual care. We argue that taking natality into account results in a relational understanding of humanist spiritual care in which the notion of “relational transcendence” is a central element. Natality also means that we can initiate, create, and act in the world, which highlights the political dimension of humanist spiritual care. We reflect on the implications of natality and relational transcendence for humanist spirituality and chaplaincy and formulate some concrete building blocks for working from this perspective. View Full-Text
Keywords: humanism; chaplaincy; spiritual care; natality; relationality; transcendence humanism; chaplaincy; spiritual care; natality; relationality; transcendence
MDPI and ACS Style

Wojtkowiak, J.; Schuhmann, C. Natality and Relational Transcendence in Humanist Chaplaincy. Religions 2022, 13, 271.

AMA Style

Wojtkowiak J, Schuhmann C. Natality and Relational Transcendence in Humanist Chaplaincy. Religions. 2022; 13(4):271.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wojtkowiak, Joanna, and Carmen Schuhmann. 2022. "Natality and Relational Transcendence in Humanist Chaplaincy" Religions 13, no. 4: 271.

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