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A Spirituality of Immanence 

A Spirituality of Immanence
Chapter:
A Spirituality of Immanence
Author(s):

Michael J. Balboni

, and Tracy A. Balboni

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199325764.003.0012
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date: 23 August 2019

This chapter argues that by secular medicine’s repudiation of religious partners, it ironically establishes itself as a religious-like phenomenon. Medicine is dangerously close to aligning itself with a spirituality of immanence centered on bodily cure and comfort as chief affection or ultimate concern. This realignment away from Western religions and toward a spirituality of immanence monopolizes the structures of medicine, marginalizing the Abrahamic religious traditions, and animating a rival spiritual power. Contemporary medicine is not freed from spirituality or religion. Medicine in its contemporary secular institutions and professions is both intrinsically spiritual in its ultimate concerns and loves and infused with a veiled, quasi-religious structure embedded in its systems. Clinicians are deeply socialized into immanence, leading them to unconsciously avoid or neglect their patients’ spiritual needs.

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