This paper explores the conflict between local expressions of Christian charity and new theories of scientific humanitarianism in the final years of French rule in Africa. Compassionate phenomena inspired by Catholic social organizing had transformed everyday life throughout French Cameroon's cities and villages in the interwar and postwar years, and yet, in 1950, poverty, crime, poor public health, and social tensions remained prevalent. Seeking a more deeply transformative approach to social rehabilitation, ecclesiastical leaders in the Catholic Church in Europe and French foreign missionary societies in Africa partnered with international medical and scientific organizations to invigorate charity with technical expertise. Revised ethics and practices departed sharply from preexisting models of collective social action, as European leaders lacked confidence in the intentions as well as the outcomes of African-led religious organizing. European humanitarian approaches conceived after World War II demanded a new focus on particular African subjects, namely the child and the family, which alienated indigenous Christian principals, who, along with large and diverse African Christian communities, had previously determined the direction of Catholic social action on the continent.
Science and Charity
Rival Catholic Visions for Humanitarian Practice at the End of Empire
The Ladies of Charity in Carniola, 1848 to 1914
This article discusses the timing and character of women's philanthropy in Carniola, now part of Slovenia, in the period from 1848 to 1914. Based on primary research, it explores the beginnings of women's work for the poor; the impact of religion, especially Catholicism, on women's involvement in charity; and finally the rise of women's secular social care. I argue that in Carniola, Catholic women's organizations largely filled the space that opened up for women's philanthropic initiatives. By the late nineteenth century, a re-Catholicization of modern industrial society took place, which particularly focused on women, as seen in the phenomenon of the feminization of the Catholic religion. Catholic women's associations started to proliferate; some of these associations were charity associations that introduced new principles to charity work.
The 'Real Experience' industry: Student development projects and the depoliticisation of poverty
Participation in development projects in the Global South has become one of the most sought-after activities among American and British high school graduates and college students. In the United States this often takes the form of Alternative Spring Break trips, while in Britain students typically pursue development work during their 'gap years'. Development projects offer students a way to craft themselves in an alternative mould, to have a 'real experience' that marks them off from the cultural mainstream as 'authentic' individuals. The student development craze represents an impulse to resist consumerist individualism, but this impulse has been appropriated and neutralised by a new logic of consumption, transforming a profoundly political urge for change into a form of 'resistance' compatible with neoliberal capitalism. In the end, students' pursuit of self-realisation through development has a profoundly depoliticising effect, shifting their attention away from substantive problems of extraction and exploitation to the state of the inner self.
Is charity a gift? Northern Irish supporters of Christian missions overseas
In Northern Ireland, as elsewhere in the British Isles, mainline church denominations support their own mission societies. A small study of their attitudes and objectives was conducted with society officials, and with leading supporters in different denominations. Working in solidarity with others in their congregation, supporters were often more interested in helping to relieve suffering than to learn about the cultures and politics of the ‘missionised’. The sociality and disinterestedness of such charitable activities is contrary to some common assumptions about Western individualistic giving, deserves anthropological analysis and is relatable to Maussian theories of ‘the gift’.
We All We Got
Urban Black Ecologies of Care and Mutual Aid
Ashanté M. Reese and Symone A. Johnson
. Responses to the pandemic, global uprisings, and other crises impacting Black life have varied. On one hand, the documented increase in people using emergency food provisions makes clear that charity-based frameworks for addressing acute crises are on the
Mittermaier, Amira. 2019. Giving to God. Islamic charity in revolutionary times. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. 248 pp. Pb.: US$29.95. ISBN: 9780520300835.
Refugee Hospitality Encounters in Northern Portugal
“Cultural Orientations” and “Contextual Protection”
) argues that the possibility of hostility is always present in the host–guest relationship since a guest cannot claim rights. It is this tension between charity and rights, between voluntary commitments and legally binding obligations, that lies at the
Sadaqah, social enterprise, and the polytemporalities of development gifts
Tom Widger and Filippo Osella
, a non-profit initiative of a wealthy Muslim family originating in a gift of sadaqah (voluntary charity) delivered via the corporate social responsibility (CSR) team of the company they own, was one of three options for medical treatment available
Enacting “Bottom-up” Solidarity in Labor Market Integration for Refugees in England
Sonia Morano-Foadi, Peter Lugosi, and Clara Della Croce
). The state's aim was to encourage greater levels of voluntarism with the involvement of charities, private enterprises, and social enterprises in the running of public services ( Calò et al. 2022 : 873; Lugosi et al. 2022 ). TSOs were considered as
Living Through and Living On?
Participatory Humanitarian Architecture in the Jarahieh Refugee Settlement, Lebanon
Riccardo Luca Conti, Joana Dabaj, and Elisa Pascucci
. A small architecture charity, CatalyticAction, was behind this unusual operation of transfer, adaptation, and reclaim. The charity had limited funding and managed to secure a pro bono engineering consultancy by the firm Arup. CatalyticAction's work