Bericht der Tohoku-Universität - Seelsorgeausbildung, 2012

NCC Japan - Tohoku HELP

Der Bericht der Tohoku Universität umfasst 29 Seiten. Wir geben zuerst den Inhalt des Newsletters wieder und danach einen Auszug "Warum werden Seelsorge-Experten benötigt?". Um den vollständigen, sehr interessanten Bericht zu lesen, öffnen Sie bitte die pdf hier.


Tohoku University Department of Practical Religious Studies
Newsletter 1

Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network (Tohoku HELP)
Department of Practical Religious Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Letters,
Tohoku University
Issue 1, September 1, 2012


 Table of Contents 

Thoughts on the Establishment of the Department,
Dr. Takeshi Okabe Pages 3-6

The Role and Significance of the Department of Practical Religious Studies,
Dr. Iwayumi Suzuki Pages 6-7

On the Occasion of the Establishment of the Department,
Dr. Susumu Shimazono & Dr. Kaoru Yoshinaga Pages 7-8

The Concept of Clinical Religious Experts,
Dr. Hara Takahashi Pages 8-14

Interview with Rev. Hanae Igata Pages 15-17

First Clinical Pastoral Training Program Pages 17-21

Ambiguous Loss: Support for Families with Missing Loved Ones Lecture
& Workshop Information Pages 21-23

Record of Activity Pages 23-28


Why Clinical Religious Experts are Essential

If it is true that there are religious needs and religious people to answer those needs, what then is the purpose of training Clinical Religious Experts? 

The first point is that this project transcends denominational differences. Through the activities of the Kokoro no Sodanshitsu so far, we have experienced the way in which the sight of monks and pastors walking alongside each other has been very encouraging for disaster victims. Importantly, when cooperating across the boundaries between religions and denominations, a line has been drawn at proselytizing and money-making activities, securing a publically acceptable arena for religious activities.*
*There have been some cases of cults visiting temporary housing and soliciting aggressively as groups, so religious people currently engaged in support work in the disaster areas are careful not to indicate their affiliations in order to avoid misunderstanding. At Café de Monk, those who wish to do so may make prayer beads together with staff members or receive miniature statues of Jizo Bodhisattva, but the basic policy is solely to listen, without disclosing sect or temple affiliation.
Secondly, the idea of Clinical Religious Experts presumes above all else that religious people of the same denomination as the people who require care may not be available, as was the experience after the earthquake and tsunami. Rather than religious people being unable to help because they happen to belong to the wrong sect, it acknowledges that there is a need for religious people of different denominations, as well as those of no religion, who are able to listen carefully to what lay people have to say and walk alongside them in their grief.

Even supposing that a believer is fortunate enough to meet a religious person of the same sect, the problem is essentially the same. Religious people are in the habit of assuming that they will only come into contact with people who hold specific values, but this may actually mean they are unable to accept the needs of the person seeking care. For example, a parishioner may go and see a medium without mentioning it to their temple priest. This is a similar pattern to that of a patient who will only talk to a doctor about medical treatment, and wants to avoid the topics of religion and death. 

There is thus a fundamental need for specialists who have the ability to listen carefully to the voices of people with various backgrounds. This provides the foundation for them to provide religious services if these are required, such as reciting a sutra or offering a prayer. To put it another way, a specialist who can use attentive listening and spiritual care as a base for providing “religious care” is a Clinical Religious Expert.
What form this religious care should take is a topic for future research. Religious care could be described as “psychological care” that is provided on the basis of specific religious values, but it is also carried out by means of religious ceremonies (Buddhist memorial services, worship, prayer, sutra reading, etc.) and the use of articles (rosaries, prayer beads, etc.). In what way can pastors do this for non-Christians and monks do this for non-Buddhists? Perhaps practices such as those of of Pastor Igata described in this newsletter may provide some ideas.
It is not only the disaster victims themselves who require care. We hear reports of high levels of stress among caregivers, such as public health nurses who make rounds of temporary housing and carry out home-visit nursing. Even if they have the opportunity to participate in psychologically based group work or receive counseling, they say that this actually tires them out as they are asked to express their emotions over and over again. It may be that the role of a Clinical Religious Expert is to be someone who can go to such people and offer a prayer, teach techniques of meditation, or explain how to use Buddhist altars or Shinto household shrines in homes that have them. ….