KITSENKO O.S., KITSENKO R.N., CHEREMUSHNIKOVA I.K. Medical Culture of Volga Protestant Communities (Second Half of 18th – Early 20th Centuries): Religious and Ethical Aspects

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.5.14 

Olga S. Kitsenko

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

History and Cultural Science Department, Volgograd State Medical University,

Pavshikh bortsov Sq., 1, 400131 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5015-2238 

Roman N. Kitsenko

Candidate of Sciences (Philosophy), Associate Professor,

History and Cultural Science Department, Volgograd State Medical University,

Pavshikh bortsov Sq., 1, 400131 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9192-0512 

Irina K. Cheremushnikova

Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), Professor,

History and Cultural Science Department, Volgograd State Medical University,

Pavshikh bortsov Sq., 1, 400131 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7211-0503 


Abstract. Introduction. The authors proceed from the understanding that medical culture is a complex of factors contributing to the preservation of health, and these positions analyze the culture of the German Protestant communities (Lutherans, Hernguthers, Mennonites) inhabiting the Povolzhye (Volga region) in the second half of 18th – early 20th centuries. The study of cultural contexts of health, including religious ethical norms, is key to analyzing health and well-being of a population.

Methods and materials. Materials for the study were statutes of Protestant communities, data of zemstvo medical statistics, publications in central and local periodicals, as well as eyewitness accounts of visitors of German colonies. The comparison of ethical standards contained in the statutes and recorded by witnesses with data on morbidity and mortality allow us to estimate the role of religious and ethical views in the medical culture of Volga Protestants.

Analysis and results. The authors have found that the conditions for maintaining health in German colonies, including the availability of high-quality medical care, were directly related to the labour ethics of Protestantism and the high level of dwellers welfare. Labour ethics determined importance to keep fit, influenced nutritional culture and the perception of medical care. The total literacy of colonists contributed to the spread of advanced medical practices among them (for example, vaccination). Protestant virtues of diligence and order became the basis for the development of hygienic skills – an important factor in the prevention of infectious diseases. The ideals of marital fidelity and family values promoted health maintenance. Self-government characteristic of Protestant communities made it possible to quickly respond to the challenges posed by threats to health.

Key words: medical culture, cultural contexts of health, Protestantism, Protestant ethics, Volga Germans.

Citation. Kitsenko O.S., Kitsenko R.N., Cheremushnikova I.K. Medical Culture of Volga Protestant Communities (Second Half of 18th – Early 20th Centuries): Religious and Ethical Aspects. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 172-184. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.5.14.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Medical Culture of Volga Protestant Communities (Second Half of 18th – Early 20th Centuries): Religious and Ethical Aspects by Kitsenko O.S., Kitsenko R.N., Cheremushnikova I.K. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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