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Title: The Reformation of Charity: The Secular and the Religious in Early Modern Poor Relief
Author: Safley, Thomas Max
Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 2003
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780391042117
Volumes: 1; Pages: 206
List Price in Cloth: $147.00 Our price: $123.99
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Early modern Europe witnessed changes in the social, political, and ecclesiastical structures supporting poor relief, but notions that sharp fault lines divide rationalized, secular poor relief from morally and spiritually motivated ecclesiastical charity need rethinking. Spiritual ideals shaped political and social poor relief structures just as much as rationalization and effective administration colored ecclesiastical charity efforts. Poor relief reflects a local community. A community's unique history, culture, political agenda, social mores, and religious ideals converge to shape how it responds to poverty, whatever the context: religious, political, or private (the lite). Sweeping statements and broad generalizations must be placed under the lamp of local circumstances. Theory and practice must unite. These studies take seriously the richness and humanity of early modern poor relief, the danger and desperation of poverty in a community, as well as the calculation and generosity of local charity.Readership: All those interested in the social and religious history of early modern Europe and the Reformation, academic institutions and libraries, advanced graduate and undergraduate students.Thomas Max Safley, Ph.D. (1980) in History, University of Wisconsin at Madison, is associate professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published extensively on the economic and social history of early modern Europe, including Charity and Economy in the Orphanages of Early Modern Augsburg (Brill, 1987).