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Title: The Christian social conscience : social work's forgotten heritage
Author: Tongue, Alan Stanley
ISNI:       0000 0001 3535 0586
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis places the origin of social work in this country, its motivation and practice, far earlier than is commonly supposed. Most previous assessments look to roots in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Until recently they also recognised a debt to the Judaeo-Christian tradition. That recognition has been withdrawn in more recent accounts. The present work takes issue with this change in perspective and also looks to origins far more remote in time, demonstrating that the values and practice of social work are indeed the fruit of that long Judaeo-Christian tradition of belief and action. The thesis is sustained by analysing that tradition from the eighth century BCE to the begimring of the twentieth century. This approach involves the explication of various Christian emphases, noting their differences, disagreements and complementarity, and offering a critical assessment of their development over time. They are discussed not merely in their relationship with each other but also within their respective cultural, political social and economic environments and the implications of the consequent interaction are examined. The thesis concludes that social work, however currently defined, is substantially the product of this tradition and that more recent, secular interpretations, are deficient as a result of their insufficient historical perspective and theoretical rigour. Whether social work might have resulted from some other basis in theory and practice is a fruitless question. That it did, in fact, arise from this tradition is shown to be the case. The contribution to knowledge is to be found in the demonstration of the necessity, hitherto neglected, of a long historical perspective together with a more comprehensive account of various Christian emphases than has previously been attempted. To recent accounts of the contribution of Evangelical Christians this thesis adds an assessment of the work of Christians of other persuasions, Incarnationalist, Broad Church, Christian Socialist and Roman Catholic. The result of this inquiry is a complete re-assessment of the origins of social work, contesting the apparent consensus.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available