Florence Nightingale: The Making of a Radical Theologian

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9780827210325: Florence Nightingale: The Making of a Radical Theologian

Webb passionately brings to life the full story of this fascinating reformer, feminist, social activist, and theologian.

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"When very many years ago I planned a future, my one idea was not organizing a hospital but organizing a religion." ----Florence Nightingale

"Val Webb's carefully crafted study of Florence Nightingale's religious works, her letters and diaries, reveals some surprising and little known aspects of this great nineteenth-century woman pioneer reformer. Her posthumously published writings are evidence of a strong religious vocation and of unexpectedly radical theological thought, resonating more with contemporary feminist theology and process thought than with the Victorian ideas of her own days. This book shows the complex personality, brilliant mind, and deeply religious motivation of this God-intoxicated woman, who is both a mystic and a militant, an original thinker and great innovative doer. Much of this comes as a great surprise and challenge to the reader. Webb's study is a fine example of the new kind of scholarship on Florence Nightingale. It is a most vivid account and truly engrossing read." ----Ursula King, Center for Comparative Studies in Religion and Gender, University of Bristol

"Florence Nightingale claimed that her one aim in life was to organize a religion, not a hospital. Val Webb takes the legendary lamp from the sentimental image of Nightingale, to shed new light on the previously undervalued passion of her life. Here we meet Nightingale the mystic and theologian, activist and intellectual, who drank from her own well of experience with impoverished and suffering people. Webb's historical and narrative expertise recovers Nightingale's voice from amongst her Victorian contemporaries to introduce us to a truly innovative and constructive theologian in her own right." ---Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Murdoch University, Australia

"She was not 'the lady with the lamp.' She was the lady with the brain-one of those rare personalities who reshape the contours of life." ---Sir Edward T. Cook, biographer, 1913

About the Author:

Val Webb has taught Religious Studies at the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College in the United States and at Whitley College, Melbourne, Murdoch University, Perth and Charles Sturt University, Sydney. She has written eight books, including In Defense of Doubt: An Invitation to Adventure (Chalice Press, 1995), Why We're Equal: Introducing Feminist Theology (Chalice Press, 1999), and Florence Nightingale: The Making of a Radical Theologian (Chalice Press, 2002).

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