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Issues » 2015/4 - Clinical Social Work »

Jan Kaňák

Position of Discourse of Spirituality in Social Work


The article is conceived as a theoretical answer to the question aimed to describe an position of discourse of spirituality in social work area from the beginnings of social work as profession until now. For some authors social work is defined as an activity strongly influenced by discourses. At present, spirituality is perceived as integral part of social work profession mainly in the context of English literature, less in the Czech one. Texts dedicated to spiritually sensitive interventions, assessing the environmental situation with regard to spirituality and the like are printed in journals. Presence or absence of discourse of spirituality is not related only to changes in social work profession, but it seems that it is related to wider social changes – shift from modern to postmodern society. In the first part of the text I define terms spirituality, religion and discourse. Also I focuse on historical view on presence/absence of discourse of spirituality in social work. In the next part of the text, I offer periodisation of relationship between spirituality and social work by Canda and Furman and its modification according to better responsiveness to the Czech context.


spirituality, religion, discourse, historical view

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