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    Medical philanthropy and civic culture: Protestants and Catholics united by a "common Christianity"

    Mangion, Carmen M. (2009) Medical philanthropy and civic culture: Protestants and Catholics united by a "common Christianity". In: Malchau Dietz, S. (ed.) Nursing and History: Proceedings - First Danish History of Nursing Conference. Aarhus, Denmark: Faculty of Health Sciences, Aarhus University. ISBN 9788792261908.

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    John Horsford writing on the ‘genius of philanthropy’ in 1862 claimed: It is not with a philanthropic man a question of whether it be a needy brother whoasks his aid, so much as the fact that he is a fellow creature … The catholic-minded Christian will always breathe the spirit of the good Samaritan; and irrespective of creeds, opinions, and sectarianism, will pour in the oil and wine of mercy… (Horsford, 1862, 104) Horsford positivist view of philanthropy may strike the reader as a bit overly optimisticgiven the tensions that existed between different Christian faiths in nineteenth-centuryBritain (Murdoch, 1992; Neal, 1988; Wolfe, 2004). Philanthropic giving in thenineteenth century was often directed by faith but did it really ignore sectarian tensionsas Horsford maintained? This essay will examine Horsford contention by examining theactivities of the sisters of one Catholic religious congregation, the Poor Servants of theMother of God, as hospital managers of Providence Hospital in St Helens, Lancashire.It explores their relationship with members of the urban elite of St Helens and arguesthat despite sectarian tensions, there were common interests between Protestants andCatholics, in particular with regards to medical philanthropies that dealt with the‘deserving poor’. This research, part of a larger study on both institutional anddomiciliary medical provision delivered by Catholic women religious in nineteenth-century Britain, allows us to question the permeability of the sectarian divide.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2013 12:13
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:08


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