• Tiffany A. ZieglerEmail author
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Before examining the history of the hospital and charitable institutions, it is first necessary to understand some key developments and terms. This introduction considers the important partnership between Christianity and institutional care, the rise of urbanization in the high Middle Ages and the problems it created, and the response—including the creation of hospitals—that popular Christian movements, such as the vita apostolica activa, brought. After a brief survey of the medieval hospital of Saint John in Brussels, I define the following terms: healthcare, disease, illness, hospitals, and caritas. The introduction concludes with a discussion of why historians must examine the hospital of Saint John in a greater history of charitable institutions.


Hospital of Saint John Hospitals Healthcare Disease Illness Caritas 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryMidwestern State UniversityWichita FallsUSA

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