Fortress Press

Beyond Charity: Reformation Initiatives for the Poor

Beyond Charity

Reformation Initiatives for the Poor

Carter Lindberg (Author)

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The common stereotype is that the Reformers separated public and private morality and were indifferent to the ethical import of social structures and institutions. Beyond Charity calls this understanding into question by providing an analysis of the historical situation and translations of primary documents. The medieval point of view, formed by piety of achievement, idealized poverty -- either as voluntary renunciation or as almsgiving. In either case the material effects on actual poverty were slight, and the religious endorsement of poverty precluded urban efforts to address this growing problem. The Reformers impelled by their theology, developed and passed new legislative structures for addressing social welfare needs. The key to their undertakings was the conviction that social ethics is the continuation of community worship. In the first half, this book sets forth the medieval context, details Luther's critique of the profit economy of his day, and analyzes the actual social welfare programs that issued from his theology. The second half provides translations of selected legislative programs from the church orders of the Reformation.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9780800625696
  • Format Paperback
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 208
  • Publication Date July 1, 1993

Table of Contents

Preface

Abbreviations


Introduction

Relieving Misery, Preserving Social Order

Goals
Limitations
Sources
Perspectives

Part One: Reformation Initiatives for the Poor

CHAPTER 1
Poverty and Charity in the Middle Ages
The Concept of Poverty
Theology and Poverty
The Exigencies of Poverty
Medieval Urban Reactions to Poverty
The Secularization of Charity
The Church – Helper and Hinderer of the Poor

CHAPTER 2
Urban Realities and Reformation Ideals
Humanist Contributions and Ideas
Late Medieval Urban Developments
The Urban Reception of the Reformation
Luther's Theology and social Welfare

CHAPTER 3
Reforming Responses and Roman-Radical Reactions
The Evangelical Church Orders
Roman Catholic Reactions
Radical Evangelical Reactions

CHAPTER 4
Social Reform beyond Charity for the Poor
Focusing on Service to the Neighbor
Recasting Wealth, Poverty, and Salvation
Beginning with Doctrine

Part Two: Sources on Poverty and Social Welfare

CHAPTER 5
Late Medieval Attitudes to Begging and Poverty
Canon Law
A Sermon Illustration and "Concerning Hospitals for the Poor and Homes for the Lepers"
"On Charity Trusts"
"Concerning Begging"
Nuremberg Begging Order
Martin Luther's "Foreword" To Mathias Hutlin

CHAPTER 6
Renaissance and Reformation Perspectives
"Beggar Talk"
"There Should Be No Beggars among Christians"
"That Clergy Should Preach against Usury"
"A Conversation concerning the Common Chest"

CHAPTER 7
Social Welfare Legislation
Order of the City of Wittenberg
The Poor Order of Ypres

Bibliography
Index


Illustrations
"Combat of Charity and Avarice"

"Condemnation of Usury"

"The Miser-Monk"
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