Institutional Scholarship

The American Friends Service Committee and Confederated Humanitarianism

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dc.contributor.advisor Kitroeff, Alexander
dc.contributor.advisor Smith, Paul Zabliski, David 2017-09-01T13:42:29Z 2017-09-01T13:42:29Z 2017
dc.description.abstract Often marked by the formation of the International Red Cross in 1863, modern Humanitarianism defines itself in idealized terms as an impartial, neutral, and independent institution that aims to relieve human suffering caused by war and natural disaster. The fallout caused by the First World War caused an incredible number of American Humanitarian organizations to travel overseas in Europe, including the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Although modern humanitarianism may use seemingly clear-cut motivations to rally volunteers, the Friends and non-Friends who worked for the AFSC did so during a time of increasingly complex and fragmented religious and political motivations. In the religious context, Evangelical Christian motivations which had exercised a strong influence for the past 50 years were giving way to secular motivations such as the concept of secular "human dignity." In the political context, the senses of national pride which had caused World War I clashed with the beginnings of the internationalism that would eventually be propounded by the United Nations decades later. In my work, I argue that the AFSC formed a paradoxical coalition of humanitarian motivation around an elusive Liberal Christian Spirituality and a divisional internationalism that both thrived and struggled during the religiously and politically fragmented interwar period.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.title The American Friends Service Committee and Confederated Humanitarianism
dc.type Thesis en
dc.rights.access Open Access

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