Czech Republic, a post-communist country in East-Central Europe, is oftentimes presented as one of the most secularized countries in the world. Albeit constituting no more than 15% of population, members of Christian churches develop extensive activities in many spheres of public life. Chaplaincy is an example of ecumenical initiatives reinstated after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Prison chaplains have been gaining respect from both prisoners and prison staff in the past several decades, but their position and competencies within the correctional system are still being negotiated in this traditionally secular environment. The main objective of our study was to define the identity of a Czech prison chaplain within a total institution in a highly secularized country. Survey and interview data from a two-year project yielded the sample size of 55 individuals, and portrayed chaplains as being at the intersection of promoting personal relationship with faith in a dehumanized prison environment. Additionally, self-identity of female clergy and the prisoners’ perceptions of their service emerge as topics of interest. Policy implications for the combination of pastoral and correctional care are considered.
Beláňová, Andrea, Trejbalová, Tereza, Kelly, Bridget. 2019. „BEING A PRISON CHAPLAIN IN A GODLESS COUNTRY: AN EXPLORATION OF THE C ZECH CORRECTIONAL CHAPLAINCY.“ Konferenční plakát. (poster)