The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work

Edited By

Beth R. Crisp

ISBN 9781138931220
Published March 24, 2017 by Routledge
398 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $56.00
was $280.00
USD $224.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This international volume provides a comprehensive account of contemporary research, new perspectives and cutting-edge issues surrounding religion and spirituality in social work. The introduction introduces key themes and conceptual issues such as understandings of religion and spirituality as well as definitions of social work, which can vary between countries. The main body of the book is divided up into sections on regional perspectives; religious and spiritual traditions; faith-based service provision; religion and spirituality across the lifespan; and social work practice. The final chapter identifies key challenges and opportunities for developing both social work scholarship and practice in this area.

Including a wide range of international perspectives from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Malta, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA, this Handbook succeeds in extending the dominant paradigms and comprises a mix of authors including major names, significant contributors and emerging scholars in the field, as well as leading contributors in other fields of social work who have an interest in religion and spirituality.

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work is an authoritative and comprehensive reference for academics and researchers as well as for organisations and practitioners committed to exploring why, and how, religion and spirituality should be integral to social work practice.

Table of Contents



1 Religion and spirituality in social work: creating an international dialogue

Beth R. Crisp


Regional perspectives

2 Australia: it’s complicated

Beth R. Crisp

3 Korean social welfare’s approach to spiritual diversity

Edward R. Canda, Jungrim Moon and Kyung Mee Kim

4 The absent presence of religion and spirituality in mental health social work in Northern Ireland

Patricia Carlisle

5 Spirituality and religion in Maltese social work practice: a taboo?

Claudia Psaila


Religious and spiritual traditions

6 The constructed ‘Indian’ and Indigenous sovereignty: social work practice with Indigenous peoples

Arielle Dylan and Bartholemew Smallboy

7 The sacred in traditional African spirituality: creating synergies with social work practice

Raisuyah Bhagwan

8 Studying social work: dilemmas and difficulties of Ultra-Orthodox women

Nehami Baum

9 Western Buddhism and social work

Caroline Humphrey

10 Achieving dynamic balancing: application of Daoist principles into social work practice

Celia Hoi Yan Chan, Xiao-Wen Ji and Cecilia Lai Wan Chan

11 Celtic spirituality: exploring the fascination across time and place

Laura Béres

12 Material spirituality: challenging Gnostic tendencies in contemporary understandings of religion and spirituality in social work

Russell Whiting

13 Social work with Muslim communities: treading a critical path over the crescent moon

Sara Ashencaen Crabtree

14 Religious and spiritual perspectives of social work among the Palestinians

Alean Al-Krenawi


Faith-based service provision

15 Partners in service and justice: Catholic social welfare and the social work profession

Linda Plitt Donaldson

16 Residential childcare in faith-based institutions

Mark Smith

17 The background and roles of The Salvation Army in providing social and faith-based services

Michael Wolf-Branigin and Katie Hirtz Bingaman

18 South Asian gurus, their movements and social service

Samta P. Pandya

19 Reclaiming compassion: Auschwitz, Holocaust remembrance and social work

John G. Fox

20 At a crossroads: the Church of Sweden and its role as a welfare provider in a changing Swedish welfare state

Eva Jeppsson Grassman


Religion and spirituality across the lifespan

21 Spirituality: the missing component in trauma therapy across the lifespan

Heather Marie Boynton and Jo-Ann Vis

22 Spirituality as a protective factor for children and adolescents

Linda Benavides

23 Responding to child abuse in religious contexts

Philip Gilligan

24 Queer meaning

Mark Henrickson

25 From entanglement to equanimity: an application of a holistic healing approach into social work practice with infertile couples

Yao Hong and Celia Hoi Yan Chan

26 Life’s end journey: social workers in palliative care

Martha Wiebe

27 Social work and suffering in end-of-life care: an arts-based approach

Irene Renzenbrink


Social work practice

28 Religious literacy in public and professional settings

Adam Dinham

29 Spirituality and sexuality: exploring tensions in everyday relationship-based practice

Janet Melville-Wiseman

30 Mindfulness for professional resilience

James Lucas

31 Spiritual competence: the key to effective practice with people from diverse religious backgrounds

David R. Hodge

32 A spiritual approach to social work practice

Ann M. Carrington

33 Critical spirituality and social work practice

Fiona Gardner

34 Spiritually informed social work within conflict-induced displacement

Malabika Das

35 Holistic arts-based social work

Diana Coholic

36 Ethical principles for transitioning to a renewable energy economy in an era of climate change

Mishka Lysack

37 The spiritual dimensions of ecosocial work in the context of global climate change

Fred H. Besthorn and Jon Hudson

38 Ultimate concerns and human rights: how can practice sensitive to spirituality and religion expand and sharpen social work capacity to challenge social injustice?

Fran Gale and Michael Dudley

39 Addressing spiritual bypassing: issues and guidelines for spiritually sensitive practice

Michael J. Sheridan



40 Developing the agenda for religion and spirituality in social work

Beth R. Crisp


View More



Beth R. Crisp is a professor in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, Australia, where she is the discipline leader for social work. She has extensive experience in the international social work arena, having previously been Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Glasgow, and more recently was the Australian lead of a consortium of eight Australian and European universities that explored curriculum development in social work at an international level. In addition to her PhD from La Trobe University, she has undergraduate degrees in social work (La Trobe University), political science (University of Melbourne) and theology (Melbourne College of Divinity). Beth has contributed around 100 major articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as having written numerous research reports, book chapters and a number of books including Social Work and Faith-based Organizations (2014) and Spirituality and Social Work (2010).


'There is increasing interest in social work about how the profession understands issues of religion and spirituality. This very well structured book, written by international experts in the field, comprehensively identifies the knowledge base and points towards new directions in this growing area of practice. It is an essential source for academics, practitioners and students.' – Jim Campbell, University College Dublin, Ireland