Cover

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p. 1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-4

Contents

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pp. 5-6

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Comparing Religious Perspectives on Social Reform: An Introduction

Leen Van Molle

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pp. 7-38

‘Charity’, a unique feature of Christianity, according to the nineteenth-century Dutch pastor John de Liefde, is an interesting point of departure for a book that seeks to reveal how the Christian denominations dealt with the tangle of social problems that held Northern Europe firmly within its grip during the long nineteenth century. The word ‘charity’ – caritas in Latin – refers both to one of the three great virtues in Christian theology (Faith, Hope and Charity) and to the deeply rooted practice of voluntary giving to the poor, a practice with no clear beginning or place of origin and, as yet, bereft of any prospect of a world free of poverty and suffering in which...

The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland

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Social Welfare and the Churches in England, Scotland and Wales

Frances Knight

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pp. 41-70

For the whole of the period under consideration, poverty, with its attendant problems of malnutrition, disease, over-crowding and dilapidated, insanitary housing was prevalent in all parts of Britain and Ireland. It was present as much in rural areas as in urban, although it was sometimes less obviously noticeable in the countryside. In the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, possibly between one third and one half of the population struggled with the debilitating effects of poverty. In late-nineteenth-century London, which was then the wealthiest city of the world’s wealthiest nation, it was estimated that 30% of the population were in poverty, and of these, 10%, the...

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Social Welfare in Irish Perspective

Dáire Keogh

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pp. 71-98

When King George III read Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent (1800) he exclaimed “I know something now of my Irish subjects”. At the heart of the king’s response was an acknowledgement of the particularity of Ireland, which was at once part of the United Kingdom and yet foreign. Ireland was different, but the king’s remark reflected the sense in which it was also unknown, a sentiment articulated by Edward Wakefield (1812) when he complained “we have descriptions and histories of the most distant parts of the globe … but of Ireland, a country under our own government, we have little that is authentic”.1 It was this ignorance which prompted the wave of travel-narratives...

The Low Countries

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Social Questions and Catholic Answers: Social Reform in Belgium, c. 1780-1920

Leen Van Molle

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pp. 101-122

The staggering pronouncement “Il n’y a pas de question sociale” (There is no social question) has assured a place in history for its author, the notorious French republican Léon Gambetta. From nota bene, a speech he gave in 1872, shortly after the fall of the Paris Commune, it is a reference to the liberal thinking that continued to uphold the sanctity of economic freedom and rejected the left-wing revolutionary alternative. For Gambetta (1838-1882), it was not a matter of a single social question threatening to undermine the system, but rather of a number of specific social questions.1 Years later, his pronouncement was paraphrased by Alphonse Proost, director-general of the...

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Church, State, and Citizen: Charity in the Netherlands from the Dutch Republic to the Welfare State

H.D. van Leeuwen and Marco H.D. van Leeuwen

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pp. 123-146

The Dutch system of poor relief in the nineteenth century can be regarded as a child of the caritas of the Golden Age in terms of its buildings and endowments, and as a grandchild of the Reformation in terms of the dominant role of Protestantism in poor relief, itself a descendant of the parish-based poor relief of medieval Catholic times. This legacy would continue to influence Dutch poor relief until well in the twentieth century in a strong, but at times covert way that cannot be well understood without a little bit of history. After having discussed the legacy of the Dutch Republic, we discuss the nature of poor relief in the Netherlands in the nineteenth century, with particular...

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Reforming Apart Together: Dutch Health Care in the Maelstrom of Religious and Professional Rivalry

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pp. 147-170

This article focuses on the development of health care, especially for the poor, in the Protestant and Catholic milieux of the Netherlands between 1780 and 1920. During that period, the Northern Low Countries underwent several political changes: in 1814, after the Batavian and the French period, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands was founded, including the later Belgian territory, but from 1830 onwards the Belgian and Dutch states went their separate ways.1

Between 1780 and 1920, medical and nursing professionals discovered the illnesses of society and seized ‘social reform’ as their calling. Another characteristic of this...

Germany

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Poor and Sick Relief in Catholic Germany from the Enlightenment

Bernhard Schneider

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pp. 173-192

In the Old German Reich (until 1806) and the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund 1815-1866), the decades between 1780 and 1850 witnessed a particularly striking period of change (what Reinhart Koselleck called die Sattelzeit). This change affected political and social life, involving structures and institutions on the one hand and shifts in mental outlooks, discourses and semantics on the other. The Catholic Church was massively involved in this upheaval, which in turn affected the lives of individual Catholics. Further, it altered the general conditions in which all charitable activity took place....

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Social Welfare in Catholic Germany, 1850-1920

Andreas Holzem

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pp. 193-220

The German Empire (Kaiserreich), established by Otto von Bismarck in 1871, unified most of the German-speaking states, but excluded Austria where Catholicism formed the majority. As a consequence, Catholics found themselves in a minority position in Germany, albeit a strong minority. The powerful Prussian leadership implied moreover a fierce anti-Catholicism, fuelled by the widely taunted outcome of the First Vatican Council of 1870, namely the ‘infallibility’ of the pope.1 At the same time, both liberals and nationalist conservatives promoted German nationalism on the basis of the alleged cultural values (Kulturwerte) of the Lutheran Reformation, the German Enlightenment...

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Diakonie (Welfare and Social Work) and Protestantism in Germany

Katharina Kunter

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pp. 221-248

In the long period from 1780 to 1920 Protestant social welfare in Germany changed on a number of ideological and organizational fronts. Its professionalization dates back to 1848, when the German theologian Johann Hinrich Wichern presented his new model of Protestantism and Protestant charity: the Innere Mission (Inner Mission or Home Mission) at a church meeting in Wittenberg. This concept of the Inner Mission was influenced by a deeply held hostility towards the ideas of the democratic and liberal Revolution of 1848 and was to shape the foundation of Protestant social welfare for decades to come. The values contained in Wichern’s vision were theological and theoretical...

The Nordic Countries

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Social Responsibilities in the Protestant North: Denmark and Sweden

Nina Javette Koefoed

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pp. 251-280

The Reformation in Denmark and Sweden turned the two Northern European kingdoms into Lutheran, Protestant states in the first half of the sixteenth century. This had far-reaching consequences both for the organization of poor and sick relief, and for the way in which social responsibilities were politicized. The Church became part of the state, and in accordance with Lutheran ideas of the king as father of his people, the monarchs took over responsibility for the poor and sick. Nevertheless, the Church retained a crucial role as long as poor relief was organized within the parish structure, and was in practice carried out by local priests in their function as royal civil...

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Christian Social Work in an Age of Crisis and Reform: The Case of Norway

Aud V. Tønnessen

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pp. 281-304

The Lutheran Reformation of Norway in 1537 dramatically changed the organizational relations between Church and State. The properties of the Roman Catholic Church were taken over by the king, the Church was nationalized and the state became Lutheran Confessional. The Catholic Church ceased to exist in the new Danish-Norwegian monarchy that was established in 1537 and lasted until 1814. In this long period only Catholic individuals were tolerated, not the Roman Catholic Church as an institution. From 1660 to 1814 the state was an absolute Lutheran Confessional monarchy. The absolute Lutheran Danish-Norwegian monarchy ended in 1814, but the...

Index

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pp. 305-308

Authors

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pp. 309-312