Spirituality in Social Work
- David R. HodgeDavid R. HodgeDavid R. Hodge, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University, and a Senior Nonresident Fellow with both the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He is also a Nonresident Scholar with the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health in the Center for Aging, at Duke University Medical Center, Duke University.
This entry addresses the topic of spirituality in the social work profession, with an emphasis on the American context. Toward that end, the history of the relationship between the profession and spirituality is traced from the profession’s origins, through secularization, to the present reemergence of spirituality as a legitimate subject in social work discourse. The diverse ways in which spirituality and religion are conceptualized are reviewed along with rationales that are advanced to support the inclusion of spirituality in social work. The topics of spiritual assessment and intervention are discussed and guidelines for using spiritual interventions in practice settings are presented with a brief review of the research on spiritual interventions from an evidenced-based perspective. Some of the organizations that help support and nurture spirituality in social work are delineated. The entry concludes with a summary of proscriptions for advancing spirituality to the next stage in its professional development.