Ambient religion - Poverty and social work
"poor mentality", "placidly bovine", "volubly unreachable", "feeble minded" - just some of the terms used by social workers as they tried to describe the poor in the 1920s and 30s. Much of their case work was given over to discussing whether the poor were deserving or whether they were making fraudulent claims on the charities and government organisations these new professionals were representing. Laurie is joined by Mark Peel, the author of a new study of social work and poverty in the United States, Australia and Britain, and they discuss which attitudes have changed and which remain the same with the historian Selina Todd.
Also, how evangelic Christians have turned their backs on fire and brimstone and are seeking to put the Bible into the background of everyday life. Matthew Engelke talks about his study of the Bible Society of England and Wales.
Producer: Charlie Taylor.