The case of the Guru Nanak Emergency Services Department: Sikh therapeutic geographies

Arlene Macdonald

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Why, in the early 21st century, has a publicly funded, publicly operated Canadian hospital incorporated the founding figure of the Sikh religion into its architecture and its identity? Drawing on qualitative research, this paper argues that the Guru Nanak Emergency Department is not an extension of the old tradition of naming hospitals after religious figures, but rather a novel development arising from the “super-diversity” of contemporary cities, the “spiritualizing” of healthcare ecologies, and the vigorous actions of Sikhs attempting to remedy social wounds and build ‘healthy spaces’ in the pluralistic urban environs they are part of. A new therapeutic geography is emergent; the Guru Nanak Emergency Department signals new trajectories of care propagated by the lively interrelations of spiritualized healthcare ecologies, precarious and mobile religious minorities, and the city that houses them both.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number113144
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    StatePublished - Aug 2020


    • Canada
    • Religious diversity
    • Sikhism
    • Spiritual care
    • Therapeutic geographies

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • History and Philosophy of Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'The case of the Guru Nanak Emergency Services Department: Sikh therapeutic geographies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this