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The ethics of charitable care

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the following questions: (1) how to value charitable care practice in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when it has become the subject of a conflict of interpretations; (2) which arguments were brought forward for and against charity; and (3) who is a legitimate judge on this matter. It provides an overview of the fairly negative interpretations of charity among the sisters since the 1960s, and summarizes the evaluations of care receivers. Consequently, two re-interpretations of charity are presented, one in terms of social and human rights, and the other in terms of care. Finally, three theoretical models of charity are examined. The models, describing charity as one-way action, two-way interaction, and as a tri-polar dynamics, illuminate certain unnoticed and hidden aspects of charitable care, both in a positive and negative sense.

Keywords: care receivers; charitable care practice; human rights; one-way action; religious sisters; social rights; tri-polar dynamics; two-way interaction



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