This chapter is organised into two main sections. The first discusses spirituality. Rather than focus on religion, our concern in this chapter is to focus on the broader notion of spirituality, which is connected with existential questions of meaning, purpose, and how these relate to well-being, resilience and healing. The background, key concepts, critiques and debates are presented before outlining how spirituality can be incorporated into a social work perspective. The second section discusses hope. The relationship of hope to social work is explained, along with two theories of hope: a cognitive theory of hope, and a critical perspective. Like spirituality, hope is also emerging as a site of social work research and practice, and like spirituality, hope has been considered an essential part of human nature. Hope can be seen as a need, a state, and sometimes a philosophy. In social work, hope is associated with perspectives that emphasise a person’s resources and connections to community as a way of thinking about how people are resilient in the face of great difficulties. Both spirituality and hope are important concepts to critically examine in relation to meaningful and purposeful social work practice.
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