Illustration of a man in an orange jumpsuit behind bars, with a man and woman dressed for church pulling the bars open

Let My People Go

Mass incarceration is Jim Crow’s most obvious descendent. Faith communities must focus on the collective work of dismantling this catastrophic system. By Raphael G. Warnock

Autumn/Winter 2020

Featured

Painting of a man collapsing, held up by a group of other men around him.

‘Chaplain, Can You Do an Exorcism?’

To accompany people struggling with command auditory hallucinations, the author uses a metaphorical approach and works within each patient’s own religious framework. By Jeremy D. Sher

Tibetan thangka painting of a medicine buddha

A Jewel in the Lotus

The Buddha’s life, teachings, and response to human suffering inform practices of spiritual care in the hospital, and also in the classroom. By Chris Berlin

Can a Buddhist Monk Become a Chaplain?

Doing by Not-Knowing

The Man in the Tree

People as Sacred Texts: Chaplaincy in the Margins

Sarah Byrne-Martelli

Chanting through the Spring Surge

An interview with Sarah Byrne-Martelli, a chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital, on the quiet camaraderie and unnamed grief among hospital staff during the pandemic. By Wendy McDowell

Erica Rose Long

Chaplaincy as ‘Tragic Improv’

Erica Rose Long describes the honest conversations about race taking place at Massachusetts General Hospital and discusses the unique challenges and joys of chaplaincy. By Wendy McDowell

Dialogue

Theater as Chaplaincy for the LGBTQ+ Community

Theater has been a spiritual home for many LGBTQ+ folks, providing shared rituals and stories, a sense of being part of something greater than oneself, and mutual care and support. By J. Sylvan

Illustration of two men embracing up on a stage with the audience seats resembling pews.
Painting show men embracing

Plague Wisdom

Learning from queer elders who cared for the dying through the horrors of the AIDS crisis. By Cody Hooks

Illustration of two figures connecting across a digital bridge

A Minister Cultivates Abiding

The current pandemic provides a context to learn what it means to bear witness while impotent to reverse human suffering. By Emily Click

Mural of superheroes Wonder Woman, Captain America, Superman, and the Flash, with a person in scrubs in the middle

We Are All Called to Be ‘Heroes’

Rethinking our practice of calling essential workers ‘heroes’ in light of the debate over Dorothy Day’s canonization. By Elam D. Jones

In Review

illustration of letters forming gender nouns as their lines wrap around a pair of hands

Books

Waiting for Queer Theology

Queer Theology: Beyond Apologetics, by Linn Marie Tonstad, awaits a theology that moves beyond the narrow genres allotted to it. By Mark D. Jordan

Giovanni Bazzana

Books

Bedeviling Spirit Possession in Ancient Christian Texts

A Q&A with Giovanni B. Bazzana on his newest book, Having the Spirit of Christ: Spirit Possession and Exorcism in the Early Christ Groups. By Joseph Kimmel

Photo of four women wearing red robes walking to the steps of the US Supreme Court building

Books

A Story of Sarahs: Atwood’s Critique of Second-Wave Feminism

Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments resonates with the energy of dread saturating life under COVID-19 in the Trump administration. By Mara Willard

Syllabus

Practical and Spiritual Resources for Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care

A selected reading list from Harvard Divinity School faculty and chaplains.

Poetry

Oral History of Silence

Blackchurch

By Jason Myers

Prayer

By Diane Mehta

Perspective

Autumn Winter 2020 issue cover

Blessed Are the Caregivers

The authors in this issue are chaplains, faith leaders, and professors. In these roles, they lament inequities, cry out for change, and demonstrate how to ‘treat the people’s needs as holy.’ By Wendy McDowell

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