Filling the gap in literature on spirituality and social work, this textbook is uniquely dedicated to connecting faith and social justice in various social work contexts. Contributors offer a diverse range of research and experience that place spirituality at the heart of social workers’ pursuit of equality and fairness. Five sections contextualize belief in areas of environmentalism, ethics, politics, resistance, and social work education.
Throughout the book, students gain access to pertinent topics, such as decolonization, artistic practice, mindfulness, feminism, political activism, and eco-justice, through a wide range of national and international cultural practices, including Islam, Quechua, Wicca, and Indigenous spiritualities. Students in social work, sociology, community nursing, counselling, and education who study the relationship between spirituality, social justice, and social work will benefit from this text.
each chapter begins with a chapter summary and discussion questions and ends with a glossary
includes various spiritual and religious perspectives on social justice
draws on spiritual practices, lived experiences, research, and literature
Introduction: Setting the Context: The Political Dimensions of Spirituality, by Norma Jean Profitt
Part One: Indigenous Spirituality as Resistance and Decolonization
Chapter 1: Reconnecting to Creation: A Spirit of Decolonizing, by Kathy Absolon
Chapter 2: Vision and Belief within Indigenous and Jewish Spirituality, by Banakonda Kennedy-Kish (Bell) and Ben Carniol
Chapter 3: Quechua Women’s Resistance and Activism: Linkages with Spirituality and Andean Traditions, by Eliana Barrios Suarez
Part Two: Ethical and Political Dimensions of Spirituality
Chapter 4: Coming Alive: Spirit as an Interstitial Presence, by Norma Jean Profitt
Chapter 5: Islam and Social Justice, by Amal Qutub, Nazir Khan, and Mahdi Qasqas
Chapter 6: The Witches’ Way to Ethics: Social Justice and Social Work, by Aven L. Armstrong-Sutton and Leslie Armstrong
Chapter 7: Ethical and Economic Dimensions of Climate and Environmental Protection, Economic Equality, and Social Justice, by Mishka Lysack
Chapter 8: Christianity as a Political Force: From Theory to Action, by Martha Wiebe
Chapter 9: The Spiritual Is Political: Owning Our Interconnectedness in the Pursuit of Social Healing, by Nancy Ross and Jean Morrison
Part Three: Spirituality, Social Justice, and Education
Chapter 10: Weaving Together Mind, Body, and Spirit in the Pursuit of Social Justice: An Example of Mindfulness and Critical Social Work Education, by Tracey Lavoie and Ellen Katz
Chapter 11: Spirituality and Social Justice through Art: Creating Inspiration, Unity, and Action, by Cyndy Baskin, Shima Razavi, and Cassey Andrews
Conclusion: Closing Circle, Not Closing the Circle, by Cyndy Baskin
Norma Jean Profitt is a social activist who holds her PhD in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a former Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at St. Thomas University. She was the recipient of the Governor General’s Award in 2016.
Cyndy Baskin is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Toronto Metropolitan University.
“Spirituality and Social Justice reminded me of the importance of connectedness in our lives. I was inspired by the discussions on land connections, climate science, the power of art, women’s resistance, and how to walk in spiritual relationship with the environment that sustains us. It is critical to remind ourselves as social workers that living in relationship with spirit advances our practice and our humanity.”
—Jeannine Carrière, School of Social Work, University of Victoria
"An important and timely text that fills the gap in Canadian social work literature around spirituality and social justice. A must read for social work students, researchers, and educators."
—Dr. Sulaimon Giwa, School of Social Work, Memorial University of Newfoundland
“Diverse voices explore the intersections between spirituality and social work’s practice in the face of—and at times as the face of—colonization and other structural and systemic violence. With varying lenses, the authors suggest that a critical connection to the sacred can help social workers and communities resist oppression and build solidarity and resilience in movements toward social justice. This book made me reflect, consider, question, argue, and follow the trail of references to investigate further.”
—Michele Butot, Registered Clinical Social Worker
“This book dives deeply into the spiritual as central to the political project of justice-making in social work. In a radical naming and embrace of spirituality in its myriad forms, the authors point to a move beyond anti-oppressive practice enabling us to bring about meaningful change in our world and ourselves in response to structural violence and social suffering.”
—Suzanne Dudziak, School of Social Work, St. Thomas University
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