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By Carter Lindberg (Author)
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Item description for BEYOND CHARITY by Carter Lindberg...

The common stereotype is that the Reformers separate public and private morality and were indifferent to the ethical import of social structures and institutions. Beyond Charity calls this understanding into question by providing an analysis of the historical situation and translationof primary documents. The medieval point of view, formed by piety of achievement, idealized poverty -- either as voluntary renunciation or as almsgiving. In either case the material effects on actual poverty were slight, and the religious endorsement of poverty precluded urban efforts to address this growing problem. The Reformers impelledby their theology, developed and passed new legislative structures for addressing social welfare needs. The key to their undertakings was the conviction that social ethics is the continuation of community worship. In the first half, this book sets forth the medieval context, details Luther's critique of the profit economy of his day, and analyzes the actual social welfare programs that issued from his theology. The second half provides translations of selected legislative programs from the church orders of the Reformation.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Pages   248
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.12" Width: 6.01" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.82 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1993
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Edition  New  
ISBN  0800625692  
ISBN13  9780800625696  

Availability  146 units.
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More About Carter Lindberg

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Carter Lindberg is Professor Emeritus of Church History at Boston University School of Theology. He is the author of numerous books, including A Brief History of Christianity (2005), The Pietist Theologians (2004), The Reformation Theologians (2001), and The European Reformations (1995), all published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Carter Lindberg was born in 1937 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Boston University, USA Boston University Boston University, USA Boston.

Carter Lindberg has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion
  2. Great Theologians

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Contemporary Issues

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Reviews - What do customers think about BEYOND CHARITY?

A useful resource on a rather specific topic  Oct 12, 2000
Carter Lindberg, Professor of Church History at Boston University School of Theology, and specialist on the Reformation, offers here a piece of scholarship that will be the definitive work on reformation initatives in handling the problem of poverty, at least from a Lutheran perspective.

Lindberg's book is divided into two sections: (1) a historical presentation of reformation initiatives for the poor; (2) a collection of a dozen primary sources related to this subject. Firstly, the historical presentation, which covers the first 160 odd pages of the book, shows impressive erudition with an incredible wealth of footnotes (perhaps excessive) numbering almost two hundred per chapter. Lindberg's writing is not terribly engaging and will not likely win new fans for reformation history studies, but for the medieval historian, or the layperson who is already interested in this subject, this is tolerable. Certainly the writing is clear enough, and Lindberg first points out the historiographical context in which he is engaging before chronicling the reformation initiatives for the poor.

His point is that policy concerning the poor was in fact (and contrary to other scholars' views) affected by theological concerns, most notably a change from medieval notions of earning up salvation through almsgiving, towards the idea (re-introduced by Luther) that salvation cannot be obtained that way, and that rather giving is the natural duty of the Christian arising out of the state of forgiveness and salvation by grace through faith. He gives ample evidence to support his claims, drawn to a large part from documents which he includes in the second half of his book. Thus his argument should be taken into account by social historians who might want to downplay the importance of theology and individuals like Luther.

More entertaining than Lindberg's narrative are the primary sources contained in the second half. These are: 1. Canon Law (post-1140), 2. Jacques de Vitry, a sermon illustration, 3. John Hus "On Charity Trusts", 4. Johann Geiler of Kaysersberg "Concerning Begging", 5. Nuremberg Begging Order of 1478, 6. A Forward by Martin Luther, 7. Erasmus "Beggar Talk", 8. Andreas Bodenstein "There Should Be No Beggars Among Christians", 9. Martin Luther "Clergy Should Preach Against Usury", 10. "Concerning the Common Chest of Schwabach", 11. Order of Wittenberg (1522), 12. Poor Order of Ypres (1525).

The book also contains a bibliography, and the footnotes should provide additional reading for the serious scholar.

In summary, a very useful and necessary book for anyone interested in the subject, especially given the controversy surrounding religion-based social work even today, but not light reading or introductory material for those unfamiliar with the field.


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