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Ars moriendi i kampen om det goda samhället

Werner, Yvonne Maria LU (2004) In Döden som katharsis. Nordiska perspektiv på dödens kultur och mentalitetshistoria
Abstract
This article deals with the view on death and cure of dying persons in Scandinavia from the middle of the 19th century up to the present. In this period, there is a change from a Christian understanding of death as a transition to eternal life to the present, secularised attitude. This development was, however, not clear-cut. There was a trend towards secularisation but at the same time, there were also strong revivalist movements and ecclesiastical mobilisation.



The liberalisation of the former severe laws on religion in Scandinavia opened the way for the re-establishment of the Catholic Church and thus also for Catholic orders and congregations. Christian revivalism inspired to greater efforts in the field of... (More)
This article deals with the view on death and cure of dying persons in Scandinavia from the middle of the 19th century up to the present. In this period, there is a change from a Christian understanding of death as a transition to eternal life to the present, secularised attitude. This development was, however, not clear-cut. There was a trend towards secularisation but at the same time, there were also strong revivalist movements and ecclesiastical mobilisation.



The liberalisation of the former severe laws on religion in Scandinavia opened the way for the re-establishment of the Catholic Church and thus also for Catholic orders and congregations. Christian revivalism inspired to greater efforts in the field of health-care, and the three traditions that forms the base of modern health-care, represented by Catholic religious congregations, by Protestant deaconesses and by Florence Nightingale, are all built on Christian thought. Therefore great importance was attached to the care of the seriously sick and dying, and in the background, we find the Christian ars moriendi tradition, i.e. the idea that man has to die reconciled with Good.



At the hospitals of the Protestant deaconesses and of the Catholic sisters, where health-care was connected with evangelisation, great efforts were made to secure a Christian preparation before dead. The idea of a Christian motivation of health-care was long maintained also at the public hospitals, not least in the nursing care of dying patients.



At the beginning at the 20th century, however, the religious motivation was tuned down in favour of medical and psychological aspects. Here we can discern three phases. During the first phase, the care for salvation played a central role in the nursing care of the seriously sick and dying patients. In the next phase, which goes to the beginning of the 1960s and is characterised by an increasing medicalisation, the religious aspect was successively diminished and then, in the last phase, almost totally disappeared from the public discourse. This means, somewhat strained, that the Christian ars moriendi with salvation and eternal life in focus has been replaced with a care strategy aiming to make the dying as imperceptible as possible. Interpreted in term of katharsis one could say that the cathartic process has been transferred from the spiritual to the corporal area. If the Christian tradition had stressed the importance of purifying the soul from sin, the striving was now to deliberate the dying person from the conscious of its own dead.



Since the 1970s the medicalised health cares, foremost the care at the end of life, has met growing critics, and the need for spiritual dimensions have been pointed out. Within the palliative nursing care, this change of perspective is especially evident. This has led to the emergence of a new form of care for incurable and dying person called hospice. Here, however, the focus is not on the ars moriendi but rather on the ars curandi, the right way the give nursing care. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Catholic congregations, ecclesiastical mobilisation, ars moriendi tradition, secularisation, conscious of dying, confessionalism, cure of dying, cathartic process, Protestant deaconesses, death
in
Döden som katharsis. Nordiska perspektiv på dödens kultur och mentalitetshistoria
editor
Werner, Yvonne Maria and
publisher
Almqvist & Wiksell
ISBN
91-22-02081-0
project
Nordiska historikermötet 2004
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
4c5f52b1-6594-492c-a133-3c1f04aeaf74 (old id 641607)
date added to LUP
2008-01-04 13:32:13
date last changed
2016-04-16 08:41:50
@inbook{4c5f52b1-6594-492c-a133-3c1f04aeaf74,
  abstract     = {This article deals with the view on death and cure of dying persons in Scandinavia from the middle of the 19th century up to the present. In this period, there is a change from a Christian understanding of death as a transition to eternal life to the present, secularised attitude. This development was, however, not clear-cut. There was a trend towards secularisation but at the same time, there were also strong revivalist movements and ecclesiastical mobilisation. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
The liberalisation of the former severe laws on religion in Scandinavia opened the way for the re-establishment of the Catholic Church and thus also for Catholic orders and congregations. Christian revivalism inspired to greater efforts in the field of health-care, and the three traditions that forms the base of modern health-care, represented by Catholic religious congregations, by Protestant deaconesses and by Florence Nightingale, are all built on Christian thought. Therefore great importance was attached to the care of the seriously sick and dying, and in the background, we find the Christian ars moriendi tradition, i.e. the idea that man has to die reconciled with Good. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
At the hospitals of the Protestant deaconesses and of the Catholic sisters, where health-care was connected with evangelisation, great efforts were made to secure a Christian preparation before dead. The idea of a Christian motivation of health-care was long maintained also at the public hospitals, not least in the nursing care of dying patients.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
At the beginning at the 20th century, however, the religious motivation was tuned down in favour of medical and psychological aspects. Here we can discern three phases. During the first phase, the care for salvation played a central role in the nursing care of the seriously sick and dying patients. In the next phase, which goes to the beginning of the 1960s and is characterised by an increasing medicalisation, the religious aspect was successively diminished and then, in the last phase, almost totally disappeared from the public discourse. This means, somewhat strained, that the Christian ars moriendi with salvation and eternal life in focus has been replaced with a care strategy aiming to make the dying as imperceptible as possible. Interpreted in term of katharsis one could say that the cathartic process has been transferred from the spiritual to the corporal area. If the Christian tradition had stressed the importance of purifying the soul from sin, the striving was now to deliberate the dying person from the conscious of its own dead. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Since the 1970s the medicalised health cares, foremost the care at the end of life, has met growing critics, and the need for spiritual dimensions have been pointed out. Within the palliative nursing care, this change of perspective is especially evident. This has led to the emergence of a new form of care for incurable and dying person called hospice. Here, however, the focus is not on the ars moriendi but rather on the ars curandi, the right way the give nursing care.},
  author       = {Werner, Yvonne Maria},
  editor       = {Werner, Yvonne Maria},
  isbn         = {91-22-02081-0},
  keyword      = {Catholic congregations,ecclesiastical mobilisation,ars moriendi tradition,secularisation,conscious of dying,confessionalism,cure of dying,cathartic process,Protestant deaconesses,death},
  language     = {swe},
  publisher    = {Almqvist & Wiksell},
  series       = {Döden som katharsis. Nordiska perspektiv på dödens kultur och mentalitetshistoria},
  title        = {Ars moriendi i kampen om det goda samhället},
  year         = {2004},
}