Religious Orders, Public Health and Epidemics

Brejon de Lavergnée, Matthieu / Colombo, Emanuele (eds)
Religious Orders, Public Health and Epidemics
From the Black Death to Covid-19
1. Auflage
294 Seiten

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Confronted with a Covid-19 epidemic all the more frightening for its rapid spread while its origins remained mysterious, scholars responded to the general need for meaning by placing world disasters in historical perspective. It led to a renewed interest in the relationship between religion and disease, while religious orders as specific actors, victims or voices during epidemics remained overlooked. This is precisely what this book explores.
It discusses how religious orders positioned themselves between collective salvation and individual survival. It considers the contribution of religious orders to a spiritual awakening in the face of epidemics, both as intercessors responding to appeals from lay people and civil authorities and as religious ready to offer their lives for the victims. It compares male and female religious orders in the modern era, which was more globalized, medicalized and secularized than medieval societies. Facing disease, both consecrated men and women took original paths and even invented new and provocative theologies of illness. A comparative approach, from the Black Death in the fourteenth century to AIDS in the twentieth century, and wide geographical coverage on a global scale, from transnational congregations to specific care establishments, enable comparisons to be make but also clearly distinguish different historical configurations.
Building on a renewed scholarship into Catholic religious orders, this book is a major contribution to the history of societies shaped by religion and disease.



Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée
”Only Together Can We Be Saved“: The Pope, the Scholar and the Virus in the Covid-19-Pandemic Era
S. 7–22

I. Religious Orders Between Collective Salvation and Individual Survival
1. Saving the City

Francesco Borghero
Religious Orders and Plague Epidemics in Late Medieval and Renaissance Florence
S. 23–48

Nicolas Guyard
Monks as Ressources: Devotional and Community Practices in Times of Plague at the Time of the Catholic Reformation, Lyon 1628
S. 49–66

2. Protecting the Community

Emma Wall
Disease Management in an International Context: The Venerable English College and the 1656–1657 Plague Epidemic in Rome
S. 67–82

Stefano Tomassetti
Surviving and Caring: The Oratorians and the Oratory during the Plague of Rome, 1656–1657
S. 83–106

II. Religious Orders as Actors of a Spiritual Awakening Against Epidemics
1. Interceding: In Search of Divine Protectors

Paul-Bernard Hodel
The Curious Case of Vincent Ferrer: From Preacher to Patron in Time of Plague, 14th–15th Centuries
S. 107–122

Nicolas Sarzeaud
Crisis Images: Holy Shrouds and Plagues in the 16th Century
S. 123–144

2. Devoting Oneself: The Desire for Martyrdom

Pierre Moracchini
Exposure to the Plague: The Story of a Capuchin ”Privilege“ during the 16th and 17th Centuries
S. 145–168

Emanuele Colombo
Mission at the Time of Cholera: Jesuits in 19th-Century Italy
S. 169–188

III. Female and Male Religious Orders Facing a New Era of Epidemics
1. From Cholera to Leprosy: Transnational Women Religious at the Forefront

Kristien Suenens
Sisters and the Blue Death: Women Religious and Cholera Epidemics in 19th-Century Belgium
S. 189–208

María Paz Valdés della Maggiora
Smallpox and Cholera Epidemic in Chile, 1872–1887: The Work of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul
S. 209–224

Marie de Rugy
Missionary Congregations and Leprosy in Southeast Asia during the First Half of the 20th Century
S. 225–246

2. Fighting AIDS: Transgressive Human and Spiritual Answers Provided by Religious Orders

Thomas Rzeznik
A Tale of Two Epidemics: Cholera, AIDS, and the Rise and Rekindling of a Tradition of Care at St. Vincent's Hospital, New York City
S. 247–264

Philippe Denis
Religious Men and Women Confronted with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
S. 265–284

The Authors
S. 285–288

Index of Names
S. 289–294
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