Elusive Female Subjectivity in the Russian Empire in the Second Half of the 19th — early 20th Centuries: Socio-Medical Practices of Women's Religious Communities
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Elusive Female Subjectivity in the Russian Empire in the Second Half of the 19th — early 20th Centuries: Socio-Medical Practices of Women's Religious Communities
Annotation
PII
S207987840013764-9-1
DOI
10.18254/S207987840013764-9
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Nadezhda Belyakova 
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Natalia Shock
Affiliation: Privolzhsky Research Medical University
Address: Russian Federation, Nizhny Novgorod
Abstract

This article examines women's charitable ministry in the Russian Empire using the example of social and medical practices of women's religious communities. This phenomenon was not publicly covered in the post-reform Russian society, but, as the authors managed to establish, it was widespread throughout the Empire. The social and medical ministry of the women's convents helped to solve the urgent problems of local and rural communities. Nuns and novices provided social, spiritual and medical assistance to the most vulnerable groups — widows, unmarried elderly women, crippled and poor people, orphans. The authors expand the concept of “women's charitable subjectivity” through the use of interdisciplinary methodology, which implies the optics of the “mutual influence” of medicine and religion in historical research. In the study of women's charity, we involve the historiography of the social history of medicine and the history of women's religiosity in the Russian Empire. This perspective allowed us to discover and research the socio-medical practices of women's communities (cloisters). The authors tried to fit this plot into the social context of the history of zemskaya (“zemstvo”) medicine, social reforms and the specifics of the secularization of post-reform Russian Empire. The search-problematic nature of the article allows us to examine the place of female subjectivity — both medical and religious — from the perspective of the complex processes of modernization of society in the Russian Empire in the second half of the 19th — early 20th centuries.

Keywords
women’s religious community, convent, social service, charity, almshouse, social history of medicine, hospitals, medicine and religion, female subjectivity, Russian Empire
Received
08.10.2020
Publication date
28.02.2021
Number of characters
81745
Number of purchasers
17
Views
845
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0.0 (0 votes)
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