Ministry of Clowns

Angelika Richter and Lori Zonner have a funny way of captivating readers. In a study called Clowning – An Opportunity for Ministry they write: “Experiences over five years interacting with patients as the clown Jingles and the experiment and experience of one afternoon as the clown Hairie in a hospital led the authors to reflect on the deeper meaning of clowns … Before sharing further experiences with clowning in ministry, and telling about one afternoon when Jingles and Hairie were on their way through the hospital, let us first describe a common meaning of clowning.”

Richter, a chaplain and minister at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, and her colleague Zonner published their monograph in 1996 in The Journal of Religion and Health….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.