Philanthropical Practices and Professionalization of Social Assistance in the Orthodox Church. A Specialist’s Perception
Keywords:philanthropy, professionalization, social assistance, Orthodox church.
The article presents a research based on a sociological inquiry through a questionnaire regarding the views of the persons involved - priests, social workers and volunteers - in the socio-philanthropic activity of the Romanian Orthodox Church as a faith-based organization, on the social and spiritual dimensions of their own social-philanthropic and social assistance practice, and on the perceived impact of their professionalisation on the specificity and quality of the services provided. The research was carried out between September 2018 and February 2019 in the Archdiocese of Ia?i, which consists of 13 deaneries and 1221 parishes, disposed on the territory of Iasi, Neam? and Boto?ani Counties. The most important results of this research show that the social-philanthropic activity of the Orthodox Church is correlated with the liturgical one, the spiritual dimension being added to the assistential one, while the philanthropic and assistential activities are seen by the professionals as a continuum of the active practice of Orthodoxy in the form of Christian social assistance, which can make us conclude that the assistential organizations within the Orthodox Church in Romania may be, in general, with the exception of certain peculiarities, framed within the faith-permeated organizations typology.
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