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Hospitals in Communities of the Late Medieval Rhineland

250 pages
Amsterdam University Press
From the mid-twelfth century onwards, the development of European hospitals was shaped by their claim to the legal status of religious institutions, with its attendant privileges and responsibilities. The questions of whom hospitals should serve and why they should do so have recurred — and been invested with moral weight — in successive centuries, though similarities between medieval and modern debates on the subject have often been overlooked. Hospitals’ legal status as religious institutions could be tendentious and therefore had to be vigorously defended in order to protect hospitals’ resources. This status could also, however, be invoked to impose limits on who could serve in and be served by hospitals. As recent scholarship demonstrates, disputes over whom hospitals should serve, and how, find parallels in other periods of history and current debates.
Author Bio
Lucy Barnhouse received her Ph.D. from Fordham University in 2017, and has been Assistant Professor of History at Arkansas State University since Fall 2020, having held visiting positions at the College of Wooster and Wartburg College. She has published on topics including medieval public health, leprosy, and religious women.