Do good unto all

Charity and poor relief across Christian Europe, 1400-1800

Edited by Timothy G. Fehler and Jared B. Thomley

Do good unto all
Hardcover +
  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526162472
  • Publish Date: Jul 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526162465
  • Publish Date: Jul 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    For nearly two millennia, Christians have tried to make sense of the Bible's reminder that the poor are 'always among us'. This volume explores the diverse range of ideas, institutions, and experiences early modern Europeans brought to bear in response to this biblical adage.

    Do good unto all traces the concept and practice of charity across the four major early modern Christian confessions - Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anabaptist - and over a wide range of geographical areas from Scotland to Switzerland and the Spanish Atlantic World. By bringing such a diverse set of localised studies into concert for the first time, this volume exposes the many intersections and tensions that arose between and within communities as they attempted to translate the ideal of charity into practice. This comparative approach shifts the focus from binary definitions of 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor or 'Catholic' and 'Protestant'. Instead, Do good unto all charts a new course for the study of charity beyond institutional poor relief, where the matrix of individual ideas and experiences can be fully appreciated.


    Introduction: Beyond poor relief: defining, implementing, and experiencing charity - Timothy G. Fehler and Jared B. Thomley

    Part I Defining charity
    1 Domingo de Soto and itinerant poverty: a mobile concept - Beatriz E. Salamanca
    2 No greater act of mercy: 'Cellites' and the ars moriendi in the fifteenth century - Abigail J. Hartman
    3 Charity's assurance: exhortation and election in seventeenth-century Scotland - Jared B. Thomley

    Part II Implementing charity
    4 Legislation and poor relief: Bugenhagen and the Reformation in Braunschweig - Esther Chung-Kim
    5 'Under the guise of Christian generosity': Anabaptist responses to poverty in Reformed Zurich, 1600-1650 - David Y. Neufeld
    6 Theatrical charity in the early modern Spanish world - Rachael Ball
    7 'Especially unto those of the household of faith': Menso Alting, discipline, and community in Emden's social welfare - Timothy G. Fehler

    Part III Experiencing charity
    8 Household and hospital: negotiating social welfare and social discipline in Reformation Geneva - Kristen C. Howard
    9 The Marillac family as charitable benefactors: family strategy and the rhetoric of poor relief in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France - Edward J. Gray
    10 The pilgrim as temporary pauper: the changing landscape of hospitality on the Camino de Santiago, 1550-1750 - Elizabeth Tingle
    11 Prostitution, repentance, and civic welfare in Renaissance Florence - Gillian Jack



    Timothy G. Fehler is Professor of Early Modern History at Furman University

    Jared B. Thomley is an independent researcher, and received his PhD from the University of Aberdeen

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