• Raisuyah Bhagwan Department of Community Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.



Spirituality, social development and social work are not antithetical to each other. The
profession’s earliest roots lie in the rich Judeo-Christian heritage (Leiby, 1985; Siporin, 1986).
The Christian biblical command to love one’s neighbour was translated into a sense of moral
responsibility for social service and inspired the development of philanthropy and charity
organisations during the 19th century (Elliott, 1993; Furman, 1994). It was through the vehicles
of religious organisations that social helpers sought to establish orphanages, hospitals and
schools, the values of the temple and church remaining dominant influences throughout the
early years (Holland, 1989).


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