Religion Past and Present

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Hospital Chaplain
(379 words)

[German Version]

Pastoral care in hospitals (Hospitals; see also Pastoral care of the sick) is primarily the responsibility of hospital chaplains. As early as the late Middle Ages, many large hospitals assigned a priest who had been exempted from parochial duties to deal exclusively with the spiritual and pastoral needs of patients. In the present day, when the care and treatment of the sick has largely shifted to hospitals and more than half the population die in hospital, such a functional pastorate would appear indispensable. A hospital chap-lain is responsible on average for …

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Klessmann, Michael, “Hospital Chaplain”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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