Fortress Press

The Art of Spiritual Care across Religious Difference: Revised Edition

The United States is witnessing a rise in the religiously unaffiliated. Participation in traditional religious settings is in decline. But everyone inhabits a location relative to religion, whether or not they practice or identify with a religious tradition. People engage in religious encounters and relationships in myriad ways, and their religious location is one part of their intersecting identities. This shifting religious landscape challenges spiritual caregivers to provide competent care and counsel that honors how persons' religious locations intersect.

Jill Snodgrass argues that without a theoretical understanding of religious location, chaplains, counselors, and other spiritual caregivers are left without sufficient tools to navigate this relational terrain. In The Art of Spiritual Care across Religious Difference, she gathers practices and insights from experienced spiritual caregivers and scholars to explore the concept of religious location--a term initially coined by pastoral theologian Kathleen Greider--as an aspect of an individual's intersecting identity. Snodgrass presents a compilation of essays that help spiritual caregivers think reflexively about their own religious locations and how these locations influence relational dynamics with care seekers within a diversity of cultural contexts.

This vigorous compilation advances the fields of pastoral and practical theology as well as spiritual care and counseling by developing a robust, interreligious theory of religious difference grounded in insights from Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Islam. As such, The Art of Spiritual Care across Religious Difference presents a well-timed resource for the training of religiously competent caregivers to serve in hospitals, prisons, places of worship, community mental health centers, offices of campus ministry, and more. Scholars and practitioners will quickly discover that this book will serve as an enduring resource to meet the training needs for spiritual caregivers in ways that will help them to build enduring competencies.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506499437
  • eBook ISBN 9781506499444
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 322
  • Publication Date March 19, 2024


Jill Snodgrass has woven together an indispensable analysis of spirituality and religious difference for a variety of audiences, including pastoral counselors, spiritually integrative psychotherapists, chaplains, pastors, and lay leaders. Snodgrass and the assembled authors reflexively navigate the shifting religious landscape to privilege praxis, identify systemic concerns, and offer spiritually rich practices of care. This text is timely and a must-read!

Rev. Joshua T. Morris, PhD, BCC, assistant professor of practical theology,Union Presbyterian Seminary

In a world marked by increasing diversity and religious pluralism, The Art of Spiritual Care across Religious Difference is a remarkable and timely addition to the literature on pastoral care. In this insightful and thought-provoking book, the authors not only describe the intricacies of offering spiritual care but do so with a deep appreciation for the rich tapestry of religious beliefs that exist in our society today.

Trina A. Armstrong, associate professor of pastoral theology andmarriage and family therapy, Louisville Seminary

The Art of Spiritual Care across Religious Difference is a compilation of writings on spiritual care within a pluralistic society that looks beyond interfaith or interreligious dialogue, code-switching, and other ways to connect across religious lines. The authors give insight into how to live out faith traditions' call for human relationships, caregiving, and community despite religious differences.

Tahara Akmal, chaplain, ACPE certified educator, and founder ofHayat CPE and Spiritual Care Services