The Francke Foundations as a Health Topography

Annual Exhibition of the Francke Foundations 2021 with accompanying catalogue

The unity of body and soul as well as a Christian way of life – and thus the mind – were the central coordinates in the medicine of the 18th century Pietists. The body was regarded as God's instrument in the world. Therefore, it was a fundamental duty to keep oneself healthy. If a person became ill, this was to be understood first and foremost as a divine hint that there was a deficit in being pious. The Pietists developed a medical doctrine that initially focused on prevention (dietetics) and, in the case of illness, on physical as well as spiritual therapies. In the traditional understanding of medicine, a healthy body was the result of a balance of the four humours (humour theory), which in turn could be achieved through a moderate life. The Pietist doctors expanded this concept to include the central aspect of piety: a moderate life now consisted not only in avoiding extremes – physical, affective, emotional – but above all in a Christian way of life. To this end, a complete medical topography was realised in the foundations in Halle with one of the earliest hospital buildings for children and young people ever. The catalogue documents the first major exhibition on medicine in (Halle's) Pietism and comprehensively classifies it through numerous research contributions.

Catalogue (in German): Heilen an Leib und Seele. Medizin und Hygiene im 18. Jahrhundert. Hrsg. im Auftrag der Franckeschen Stiftungen von Holger Zaunstöck und Thomas Grunewald. Halle 2021 (Kataloge der Franckeschen Stiftungen, 38).


Workshop 10/11 June 2021

»Des Waßers Art und Gütte, Beweget manch Gemüthe ...«. Religiöse und technische Aspekte frühneuzeitlicher Wasserversorgungssysteme im Vergleich

As part of its annual exhibition »Healing Body and Soul. Medicine and Hygiene in the 18th Century«, the Francke Foundations organised a public workshop on early modern water supply in comparative perspective on 10/11 June 2021. Beyond the technical aspects, questions were asked about religious patterns of interpretation of water and the associated supply systems.

Go to the workshop programme (in German).


Workshop 6 September 2021

The Medicus Malabaricus of 1712 Medicine and Mission in a Global Context

The multidisciplinary workshop, conducted in cooperation with the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, was dedicated to the Medicus Malabaricus of 1712, an outstanding source in terms of mission history as well as medical/pharmaceutical history, which is kept in the archives of the Francke Foundations. The missionary Johann Ernst Gründler (1677–1720), who was active in the context of the Danish-Hall mission in Tharangambadi in South India, collected, translated and compiled medical and pharmaceutical knowledge from various text sources in cooperation with an Indian scribe and a Brahmin on site. The resulting manuscript bears the title Medicus Malabaricus.

Go to the workshop programme (in German).