Religion and spirituality in social work

Creating an international dialogue

Authored by: Beth R. Crisp

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138931220
eBook ISBN: 9781315679853
Adobe ISBN:


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The last two decades have witnessed a growing interest in the role of religion and spirituality in social work practice in many countries, including places where for much of the twentieth century, social work sought to distance itself from its religious roots. Indeed, all 40 chapters in this volume were authored or co-authored by social workers, enabling the expression of explicitly social work perspectives on religion and spirituality. This includes chapters contributed by authors whose professional legacy included having made a significant contribution to this growing recognition of the legitimate place that religion and spirituality have in professional social work, including Alean Al-Krenawi, Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, Ed Canda, Philip Gilligan, David Hodge and Michael Sheridan. However, readers with a keen knowledge of this field may also have observed some significant omissions from the author list, which reflects that several of those who have pioneered this work over the last two decades are reaching the age of retirement from professional work and were, for various reasons, unable to be part of this project. Nevertheless, the impact of their work is evident in both explicit discussions of the work of John Coates by Mishka Lysack, and also by Fred Besthorn and Jon Hudson, and also in the lists of references of many chapters, where readers will find evidence of the influence of scholars such as John Graham and Margaret Holloway.

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