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The History of Secular Humanist Pastoral Care

Secular humanism focuses on man and his well-being. Since the 1950s, organised secular humanism has offered voluntary and professional moral support (formerly lay counselling) to dissenters. Today, people can turn to secular humanist counsellors throughout Flanders and Brussels. The services are provided in hospitals, in rest and care homes, in the army, at the airport, in prisons and at the University of Antwerp. How has this care network grown? The emergence of these structures, while the care sector was dominated by religious institutions, was no small feat.

Our audio exhibition “The History of Secular Humanist Pastoral Care” bundles clips from interviews with a dozen volunteers and pioneers, complete with visual materials and biographical data. Listen along while people who were there explain in their own words the path we've taken from those first few volunteers to the big, professional network of today!

Our web exhibition (in Dutch) offers a selection of clips from the original audio exhibition. A few archival documents and (gripping) audio clips take you back to the pioneering days of secular humanist pastoral care. Listen to the (short) testimonies of pioneers such as Luc Devuyst, Ermine Devlieger, Tania Ramoudt, Conny Verkest, Jan Verlinden, Leo Ponteur, Els Goderis, Freddy Boeykens and Annie Van Paemel.

Foto van de audiobarWould you like to introduce others to these fascinating stories? You can borrow the audio exhibition (audio files and accompanying documents) for free at CAVA. We ask you to pay a deposit in cash when you borrow the material, which you will immediately get back when you return it. CAVA ensures that the material is insured. However, you must provide your own audio guides or playback equipment (e.g. mp3 player, tablet). The accompanying documents are packed in easily transportable boxes, which you can pick up at CAVA after making an appointment. We can also deliver them on site, but then we will charge transport costs. The exhibition exists in multiple copies and can therefore be used simultaneously by larger groups.

Interested in our audio exhibition? Don’t hesitate to contact us.