Lab colleagues Lance Laird and Samsiah Abdul-Majid have published “Muslim Chaplains in the Clinical Borderlands: Authority, Function, and Identity” in Journal of Religion and Health. You can read the abstract of the article below and in full here.
This article, based on twenty in-depth interviews, examines the experiences of Muslim interfaith spiritual care providers in US healthcare institutions. These Muslim chaplains represent a public face of a minority religious community; provide a ministry of presence or accompaniment for those in the healthcare institution; and exercise a new form of professionalized religious leadership in the Islamic tradition. The border between religious leader and spiritual caregiver, between imam and chaplain, is blurry, gendered, and contested. We outline how Muslim healthcare chaplains interpret their authority, function, and identity within a professional space defined by dominant American religious norms as well as by shifting standards for leadership within American Muslim communities. We argue that the Christian hegemony often masked by “spiritual care” discourse and educational practice impels Muslim chaplains to critically evaluate, recover, and adapt traditional sources integral to the professional development of contemporary American Muslim religious leaders.