• Dying is a Transition
    Dying: a Transition - Transformation of perception and shift in connsciousness
  • Spiritual Experiences of Transcendence
    Hope and Grace
  • Loslassen-können von Angst-, Begehrens- und Machtstruktur (Link only in german). Letting-go of Fear, Greed and the Drive for Power
  • Pfarreiprojekt: Erlösung aus Prägung
    (Parish coaching project "Redemption from Imprinting")
  • Fear, Pain, Denial, and Spiritual Experiences in Dying Processes
  • Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Dying Patients with Cancer
    Versöhnung in Krebspatienten im Zugehen auf den Tod.

    I am currently working on two other projects.



    Dying: a Transition (M. Kyburz with John Peck, transl.). In K. Anderson (ed.) End-of-Life Care: a Series. New York: Columbia Univ. Pr., 2015. (Original work published 2011)

    This book introduces a process-based approach to palliative care. As we die, all egoism and ego-based perception fall away, bringing us to another state of consciousness, a different sensitivity, and an alternative dimension of spiritual connectedness. The book describes how patients pass through an inner threshold in consciousness and what happens before the threshold (pre-transition), crossing it (transition itself), and beyond it (post-transition). Mental states and sensitivity, the importance of family members, and the experiences of being, connectedness, and dignity seem to change by crossing the threshold. For instance, distress and fears often seem, first, to increase, and then to transform into serenity. Family problems, and reconciliation, first, are urgent, but gradually these concerns fade. Understanding improves care. By delineating these processes, this book helps practitioners grow more cognizant of the changing emotions and symptoms of dying patients. It enables them to respond with utmost respect to their patients’ dignity.

    «A pioneering work on research about dying and a treasury of knowledge about dying processes, this book will promote our understanding, care, and guidance of terminally ill persons.» Pim van Lommel, cardiologist and author of Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience

    «Monika Renz is able to partially lift the veil shrouding the mystery of death. Based on her vast experience with the dying, her book provides an intimate and rich account of the phenomenological experience of the dying process.»
    Paul T.P.Wong, Trent University, president of the Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute.

    «A bold, probing investigation into how analogies and metaphors provide fresh access to dying as the ultimate mystery of human potential. A skilful analysis of patient vignettes renders palpable many ineffable and unconscious dynamics of patients’ experiences as they move from conventional ego-based schema through personal, transformative, beautiful, and even painful transitions. The insightful work is a compass for reducing suffering among the dying and the living.» Bruce L. Arnold, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Calgory, Canada.

    Please also have a look here: (Epub 2012 Jul 12), (Epub 2017 Aug 21) and YouTube

    Get the book at
    Hope and Grace: Spiritual Experiences in Severe Distress, Illness and Dying (M. Kyburz, transl.). London: Jessica Kingsley Publischers, 2016. (Original work Hoffnung und Gnade published 2014).

    This book explores various interrelated topics: patients’ many spiritual experiences, mysticism, oneness and relationship, and what it means to be connected. It also considers pastoral and spiritual care.

    «Where is God in human suffering?» Many patients ask this vexing question. The chasm between hope and grace is never greater than in suffering and illness. Nowhere does the meaning of life as a whole come under more intense scrutiny. And yet nowhere are hope and grace closer than in suffering and illness. Nowhere else does the unfathomable experience of God/the divine or of transcendence – also referred in this book as spiritual experiences – enter so frequently into the darkness of hopelessness and despair. Such deeply supportive experiences are often long-awaited and yet utterly different than anticipated. They often happen when conventional coping strategies come to their limits, or when individuals move beyond their everyday consciousness. Different types of spiritual experiences are explained, such as seeing an angel or feelings of otherness and presence. The book opens up a new understanding of our mystical experiences, also in the midst of life. And it shows a new approach to spiritual care for relatives, spiritual caregivers, therapists, nurses, physicians, and volunteers. Not only for accompanying the dying.

    «Every word of this rich and profound account of Renz’s important and valuable research with the dying rings true. Her challenging work is worthy of closest attention.» Larry Culliford, author of The Psychology of Spirituality and Much Ado about Something

    «A bold inquiry into palliative care patients’ experiences of hope and grace that transcend conventional reason, language and cultural boundaries of the ego-based self. Hope and grace are recognizable qualities that can inform compassionate palliative practices.» Bruce L. Arnold, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Calgory, Canada.

    Please also have a look here: 2013 Nov 20)

    Get the book at
    The Mystic of Nazareth: Jesuanic Spirituality and Spiritual Care (translated by Mark Kyburz). [Submitted to publisher].

    German edition: «Der Mystiker aus Nazaret. Jesuanische Spiritualität» (überarb. Neuausg.). Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 2016.

    Who was Jesus? What inspired his message, his capacity for love, and his authoritative behavior?

    German edition see
    Fear and Trust (translated by Mark Kyburz) [manuscript submitted to publisher].

    German edition: «Angst verstehen: Tiefer als Urangst liegt Urvertrauen.» München: Herder, 2018.

    The human being is a citizen of two worlds. Primordial human experiences intuit a state of oneness and of being carried. Atmosphere and music, in the broadest sense, are paramount. As we become and experience ourselves as egos, fear sets in. This book outlines a model of how we come into consciousness (i.e. conscious realization). It seeks to help readers better understand the phenomenon of fear and to enable new healing experiences. It also aims to open up unexplored horizons of essential human becoming. It offers hope and meaning.

    German edition see
    Forgiveness and Reconciliation (translated by Mark Kyburz) [manuscript submitted to publisher].

    German edition: «Versöhnung und Vergebung : Wie Prozesse der Befreiung im Leben und im Sterben möglich werden». Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 2019.

    Forgiveness and reconciliation are challenges but also liberating experiences. How does forgiveness become possible – either as reconciliation with a loved one, or as reconciliation with one’s life, wounds, and fate? What do perpetrators need? What do victims need? May we even ask these questions? When approaching death, the desire for reconciliation becomes pressing. Forgiveness and reconciliation become possible when we face death or something ultimate, or when we adopt a completely new perspective. The dying can teach us how to forgive.

    German edition see

    Book Chapters

    Please visit the german version for publications.


    Renz M. Bueche D, Reichmuth O, Schuett Mao M, Renz U, Siebenrock R., Strasser F. Forgiveness and reconciliation processes in dying patients with cancer [published correction appears in Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2019 Oct 16;:1049909119884407]. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care. 37:3(2020), 222-234. (Epub 2019 Aug 5) Download PDF
    Renz, M., Reichmuth, O., Bueche, D., Traichel, B., Schuett Mao, M., Cerny T., Strasser F. Fear, pain, denial and spiritual experiences in dying processes. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine 35:5(2018), 178-188. (Epub 2017 Aug 21). Download PDF
    A Swiss psychotherapist gives her perspective on optimal palliative care: A conversation with Monika Renz. Interview by R. Piana. ASCO Post (2015, Dec 10).
    Renz M., Schuett Mao M., Omlin A., Bueche D., Cerny T., Strasser F. Spiritual experiences of transcendence of patients with advanced cancer. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine 32:2(2015), 178-188. (Epub 2013 Nov 20) Download PDF
    Renz, M., Schuett Mao M., Büche, D., Strasser, F., Cerny, T. Dying is a transition. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine 30:3(2013), 283-90. (Epub 2012 Jul 12) Download PDF
    Renz, M., Köberle, D., Cerny, T., Strasser, F. Between Utter Despair and Essential Hope. Journal of Clinical Oncology 27:1(2009), 146-149. (Epub 2008 Dec 1)
    The Experience of God in Suffering and Dying. The Way. A Journal of Contemporary Spirituality published by the British Jesuits 46:2(2007), 59-74.
    Renz, M./Schütt Mao, M./Cerny, T. Spirituality, Psychotherapy, and Music in Palliative Cancer Care. Research Projects in Psycho-oncology at an Oncology Center in Switzerland. Supportive Care in Cancer 13:12(2005), 961-966. (Epub 2004 Aug. 4)

    Audio and Video

    Audio and audiovisual media see Therapy, End-of-Life Care and Spirituality.

    Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen

    More information at

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