Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
Religion / Social Work
310 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
November 2019
Print ISBN: 9781773381183


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.

Related Titles

Table of Contents


Introduction: Setting the Context: The Political Dimensions of Spirituality
Norma Jean Profitt

Part One: Indigenous Spirituality as Resistance and Decolonization

Chapter 1: Reconnecting to Creation: A Spirit of Decolonizing
Kathy Absolon

Chapter 2: Vision and Belief within Indigenous and Jewish Spirituality
Banakonda Kennedy-Kish (Bell) and Ben Carniol

Chapter 3: Quechua Women’s Resistance and Activism: Linkages with Spirituality and Andean Traditions
Eliana Barrios Suarez

Part Two: Ethical and Political Dimensions of Spirituality

Chapter 4: Coming Alive: Spirit as an Interstitial Presence
Norma Jean Profitt

Chapter 5: Islam and Social Justice
Amal Qutub, Nazir Khan, and Mahdi Qasqas

Chapter 6: The Witches’ Way to Ethics: Social Justice and Social Work
Aven L. Armstrong-Sutton and Leslie Armstrong

Chapter 7: Ethical and Economic Dimensions of Climate and Environmental Protection, Economic Equality, and Social Justice
Mishka Lysack

Chapter 8: Christianity as a Political Force: From Theory to Action
Martha Wiebe

Chapter 9: The Spiritual Is Political: Owning Our Interconnectedness in the Pursuit of Social Healing
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
Tracey Lavoie and Ellen Katz

Chapter 11: Spirituality and Social Justice through Art: Creating Inspiration, Unity, and Action
Cyndy Baskin, Shima Razavi, and Cassey Andrews

Conclusion: Closing Circle, Not Closing the Circle
Cyndy Baskin

Contributor Biographies

Norma Jean Profitt

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.

Photo credit: John Leighton, 2016

Cyndy Baskin

Cyndy Baskin is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Ryerson University.

Strong Helpers' Teachings, Strong Helpers' Teachings, Second Edition, Spirituality and Social Justice


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.”

“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.”

“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.”

"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."

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