Boundary Situations and Spiritual Care

The Focus Group “Boundary Situations and Spiritual Care” consists of Philosopher in Residence PD Dr. Rico Gutschmidt (University of Konstanz / ETH Zurich) and his TUM host Prof. Dr. Eckhard Frick (Professorship of Spiritual Care and Psychosomatic Health).

Spiritual Care addresses the spiritual needs of both religious and non-religious people. However, in this project, it will be investigated to what extent this form of accompaniment can be made accessible to non-religious people in particular. This study takes Karl Jaspers’ notions of “boundary situation” and “philosophical faith” as its starting point. With regard to Spiritual Care, it will be examined how these notions can be used to interrelate secular-existential and religious-spiritual forms of psychological support. Thereby, this project intends to open up new possibilities for supportive forms of existential communication independently of any religious or ideological background.

In a first, conceptual working step, Spiritual Care is examined and interpreted against the background of Karl Jaspers’ philosophy. In a second, empirical working step, interviews with religious and non-religious patients facing boundary situations due to severe forms of physical or mental illness will be conducted within the framework of a qualitative study.

Publications by the Focus Group


  • Frick, Eckhard, sj; Gutschmidt, Rico: Wir werden mit dem Geheimnis der Existenz nie fertig. Spiritual Care 12 (4), 2023, 371-374 more…