Can spirituality "save" social work?: a critical examination of spirituality and social work




Gibson, Maxine Jessie

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Drawing from principles of discourse analysis, this study provides a critical exploration of the contemporary debate surrounding spirituality and social work through the analysis of nineteen journal articles written by contemporary social work scholars. Two common problems identified by the scholars include the neglect of spirituality within contemporary practice and a lack of education and guidelines to address spirituality. The solutions identified by the scholars include provision of guidelines and education, the utilization of spirituality as a technique and the creation of spiritually aware social workers. The exclusion of general discussions surrounding macro level issues leads the author of this thesis to suggest that more research is necessary in order to explore how the concept of spirituality might serve to upset current power relations on a collective and systemic level in order to create a more significant impact upon contemporary social work practice and education.



social service, religious aspects, spirituality