Original Paper

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 581-590

First online:

My Ishvara is Dead: Spiritual Care on the Fringes

  • Titus GeorgeAffiliated withChaplain, Spiritual Care Services, Kaiser Permanente Email author 

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Human suffering speaks differently to different lived contexts. In this paper, I have taken a metaphoric representation of suffering, Ishvara, from the lived context of a Hindu immigrant woman to show that suffering is experienced and expressed within one’s lived context. Further, a dominant narrative from her world is presented to show that the same lived context can be a resource for spiritual care that could reconstruct her world that has fallen apart with a suffering experience. Having argued that suffering is experienced and expressed within one’s lived context, and that lived context could be a resource, in this paper I present that spiritual care is an intervention into the predicaments of human suffering and its mandate is to facilitate certain direction and a meaningful order through which experiences and expectations are rejoined. Finally, I observe that spiritual care is an engagement between the lived context where suffering is experienced and the spiritual experience and orientation of the caregiver.


Spiritual care Lived context Immigrant Hindu woman Meaning Suffering experience