BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    ‘Tolerable Intolerance’: Protestantism, Sectarianism and voluntary hospitals in late-nineteenth-century London

    Mangion, Carmen M. (2018) ‘Tolerable Intolerance’: Protestantism, Sectarianism and voluntary hospitals in late-nineteenth-century London. Medical History 62 (4), pp. 468-484. ISSN 0025-7273.

    MANGION, Tolerable Intolerance FINAL.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (434kB) | Preview


    This article interrogates the complicated understanding of sectarianism in institutional cultures in late-nineteenth-century England through an examination of the practice of religion in the daily life of hospital wards in voluntary hospitals. Voluntary hospitals prided themselves on their identity as philanthropic institutions free from sectarian practices. The public accusation of sectarianism against University College Hospital triggered a series of responses that suggests that hospital practices reflected and reinforced an acceptable degree of ‘tolerable intolerance’. The debates this incident prompted help us to interrogate the meaning of sectarianism in late nineteenth-century England. How was sectarianism understood? Why was it so important for voluntary institutions to appear free from sectarian influences? How did the responses to claims of sectarian attitudes influence the actions of the male governors, administrators and medical staff of voluntary hospitals? The contradictory meanings of sectarianism are examined in three interrelated themes: the patient, daily life on the wards and hospital funding. The broader debates that arose from the threat of ‘sectarianism in hospital’ uncovers the extent to which religious practices were ingrained in hospital spaces throughout England and remained so long afterwards. Despite the increasing medicalization and secularisation of hospital spaces, religious practices and symbols were embedded in the daily life of voluntary hospitals.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication following peer review. The version of record is available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): sectarianism, voluntary hospitals, philanthropy, Church of England, Anglo-Catholics, Anglican sisterhoods
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS)
    Depositing User: Carmen Mangion
    Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2018 13:04
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:43


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item