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From Hostility to Hospitality 

From Hostility to Hospitality
From Hostility to Hospitality

Michael J. Balboni

, and Tracy A. Balboni

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date: 27 October 2020

Many will resist structural pluralism for medicine out of concern that it will lead to greater fragmentation. Though acknowledging this worry, the major spiritual traditions, from Abrahamic to humanist, are unified around three fundamental values including the centrality of the patient, critical incorporation of knowledge from the empirical sciences, and the value of hospitality. It is especially the value of hospitality, an individual and collective practice in which the ill stranger in need is graciously received, that links many traditions in why care for the sick is a central human value. The internal logic of hospitality remains the most powerful way of conceiving the patient–clinician relationship in terms of host and guest. When supported by spiritual traditions, hospitality is a concept that offers both language and perceptions, not only powerful enough to unite medicine despite structural pluralism, but uniquely able to counter the impersonal forces overtaking medicine.

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