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Catholic Medicine and its Others in Belgium and the Belgian Congo, 1900-1965

This project inquires into the interaction between biomedicine and religion in Belgium and the Belgian Congo between 1900 and 1965. The project focuses on catholic health care providers: their scientific and religious beliefs, their professional identities and their interaction with both non-confessional, sometimes explicitly freethinking colleagues and – in Congo – protestant missionaries and local healing traditions. Two domains will be studied in detail: medical education and reproductive public health. In both cases, the interaction between metropole and colony and the role of evolving Church-State relations will be analyzed. The obtained results will add to our understanding of the ethical challenges that accompanied the rise of 20th century secular medical authority, and to our understanding of the evolving relations between catholic and professional medical identity formation and between colonial and metropolitan medicine.
Date:1 Oct 2017 →  30 Sep 2021
Keywords:medical history, professional identities, Belgium, Congo, Catholicism, religion, freethought, medical education, reproductive health
Disciplines:History, History and foundations