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Religious culture and civic life in medieval northern Italy

Most people would agree that the hospital functions as one of the 'first duties of an organized society' as a public service for those members of the community who are in need. In the thirteenth century, hospitals represented a nexus of exchange between church officials, the community, the needy, and the pious or ambitious individual. This book presents a survey that offers an overview of the role of the hospital in affairs of the urban community, suggesting how changes within that community were reflected in the activities of the hospital. It locates the rise of the hospital movement in northern Italy within the context of the changing religious, social, and political environment of the city-states. The book introduces the hospital's central function in the distribution and administration of charity. It illustrates how the hospital and other charitable organizations played a role in the appropriation of power and influence by urban citizens. A comprehensive investigation of twelfth and thirteenth century hospitals' foundational charters follows. The book then delves into a detailed description of the physical plant of the hospital, the daily life of individuals, and rules and statutes followed by its members. It considers the social composition of donors, workers, and recipients of hospital services. Jurisdictional disputes among the city leaders, the community, individual religious orders, ecclesiastical authorities, and larger political forces. Finally, the book explores the process of consolidation and bureaucratization of hospitals in the fifteenth century and the emergence of state control over social services.

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The war, the poor, the Church and the state, 1939–45
Lindsey Earner-Byrne

quite at variance with that of the other non-Catholic organisations. The 98 Mother and child multidenominational Marrowbone Lane project clearly expressed the opinion that maternity welfare should not be left to charity and instead should be a ‘right’ of all mothers: This work is of such absolute national importance that there is no doubt that it should not be treated in any way as a charity. Every expectant mother should be able to obtain as her right a proper balanced meal a day, the necessary funds being supplied by organized society (i.e. the City of Central

in Mother and child
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Kathleen G. Cushing

Historians have long recognized that it is unwise to try to find a secular definition of European society for the period we know as the ‘middle ages’. As Richard Southern pointed out, ‘the identification of the Church with the whole of organized society is the fundamental feature which distinguishes the Middle Ages from earlier and later periods of history’. 1 While it is useful, often even necessary, to consider them separately, the medieval Church and medieval society were intertwined, and membership of the Church was crucial in determining an individual

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century
Philip M. Taylor

Sumer, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, dating from around 3000 BC. The archaeological evidence of public buildings, palaces, and temples indicates a well-organized society based upon a hierarchical structure with a ruler at its head. Some form of communication was necessary for that ruler to maintain his position, to issue decrees and laws, to combat opposition, and so on. But the Sumerian cuneiform tablets are essentially lists – of animals, for example, pictorially represented. Yet the tablets do yield signs denoting the professions of ‘courier

in Munitions of the Mind
Anna Dezeuze

, hipsters and junkies’, affirming that both ‘are a reaction to growing up absurd in the affluent wasteland’.11 Clark Hodges’s formulation is historically interesting in that it evokes no fewer than four studies from which the author drew in his article – explicitly or implicitly – for his analysis of 1950s American society: Norman Mailer’s 1957 essay on ‘The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster’ (which I quoted above), Paul Goodman’s 1960 Growing up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized Society, John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1958 The Affluent Society, and

in Almost nothing

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.

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Sally Mayall Brasher

The current political maelstrom that revolves around social welfare, health care coverage, and emerging pandemic scares may seem to be a specifically modern concern. However, these issues also loomed large in earlier historical eras. Today, while perhaps debating the politics of health care economics, most people would agree that the hospital functions as one of the ‘first duties of an organized society’ 1 as a public service for those members of the community who are in need. This ideal is not a recent conception. It emerged as early

in Hospitals and charity
Marcel Stoetzle

clearly conflict-orientated argument: society is a totality based on antagonism. ‘The process of increasing social rationalization, of universal extension of the market system’ works through ‘specific social conflicts and antagonisms’ which at the same time tear society apart. Antagonism is fundamental to the dynamism of this process, although it could at some point destroy ‘organized society’. It is worth noting that Adorno talks about ‘organized society’ in the singular here, which means he refers to society as such , as in the related concept of ‘human civilization

in Beginning classical social theory
Thomas M. Hanna

political economy and the search for systemic alternatives to capitalism. For as long as there have been organized societies, there have been impulses toward radical alternatives – competing visions of how humanity might better arrange itself around versions of the good life. These include the (sometimes unfairly dismissed) tradition of ‘utopian’ visions, including early modern examples such as St. Thomas More’s Utopia and Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis. In the nineteenth century, ambitious works by so-called ‘Utopian Socialists’ included blueprints by Robert Owen, Charles

in Our common wealth