Charity Begins Abroad: The Filles de la Charité in the Ottoman Empire

Sarah A. Curtis

in In God’s Empire

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396447
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979318 | DOI:
Charity Begins Abroad: The Filles de la Charité in the Ottoman Empire

Show Summary Details


This chapter tells the story of how, from the mid-nineteenth century, the Filles de la Charité were in the forefront of a wave of missionaries, both male and female, who expanded their work to Ottoman lands in the Middle East and North Africa. Unlike earlier Catholic missionaries to the region, all priests, whose work focused on ransoming Christian captives, providing sacraments to the small Catholic community, or safeguarding holy sites, these new missionaries sought to evangelize through more active engagement with the indigenous population, both Christian and non-Christian. As women, the Filles de la Charité worked more discreetly than male missionaries, ushering in a new form of Christian evangelization in Ottoman lands in which access to local populations, especially women and children, was considered key to the expansion of Catholic influence.

Keywords: Ottoman Empire; Filles de la Charité; Middle East; North Africa; Catholic influence; holy sites

Chapter.  8952 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.