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This book examines the complex interrelationship between charity, confession, and capital in the orphanages of the Free Imperial City of Augsburg. To provide the best care at the least cost the administrators of these traditionally non-capitalistic organizations engaged in a wide variety of capitalistic practices in capital, commodity, and labor markets. Their market-orientated practices inspired bourgeois virtues that included the assessments of long-term risk and reward, the avoidance of excess and waste, and the practice of obedience, persistence, and industry. Under the pressures of confessional tension, efficiency slowly evolved into a more complex notion of utility that placed the needs of the orphanages over the dictates of economy and the divisions of religion. The product of monumental, original research, this book offers a substantial revision of current historical scholarship on poor relief, social discipline, organization building, and the advent of capitalism. A forthcoming volume will pursue these issues through a close study of the fortunes and fates of 8.000 Augsburg orphans. These studies make required reading for advanced students of early modern Europe.
The Secular and the Religious in Early Modern Poor Relief
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 élite). 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.

Contributors include: David d’Andrea, Susan E. Dinan, Nicholas Eckstein, S. Amanda Eurich, Timothy G. Fehler, Peer Friess, Philip L. Kintner, Charles H. Parker, Thomas Max Safley, Joke Spaans, Mary S. Sprunger, snd Lee Palmer Wandel.
In: Mapping the 'I'
In: Mapping the 'I'
In: A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World
In: A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World
In: A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World
In: A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World