Care ethics and Florence Nightingales care practices: A historical-materialist and praxis-driven analysis

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Theology


College of Liberal Arts


Theology and Religious Education


This study is a retrieval of resources for Care Ethics reflection. It gathers, assembles, and critically examines Florence Nightingales character development, social involvements and her brand of care ethics embedded in her care praxis and writings as these breached the obvious limitations of the brand of care ethics formulated by present-day feminists. By her emancipatory/feminine-voice perspective, historical-materialist praxis, and social health reforms, she was able to concretize care one that is founded on her faith in a God who regenerates.

This work is an analysis of the previously unexplored facets of care ethics and Florence Nightingales care practices and writings. It deploys Reinhart Kosellecks framework in evaluating Nightingales emancipatory perspective, sense-felt practices and far-reaching reforms.

The use of Kosellecks conceptual history, which has been employed as a method, assists this research in data gathering, organizing themes, and analyzing complex and dense materials. His concepts of space of experience and horizon of expectation serve the purpose of retrieval and thus, have kept a cohesive view of Nightingales formation and social involvement.

This historical analysis mainly functions as an aid 1) to probe into the socio-cultural mores of Nightingales time and thus 2) pave the way towards an accounting of the constant substantive themes specific to a process of ethical reflection: character formation, ethical action (praxis), effects/consequences of character development/behavioral change to relationships, and the determination of the moral good. This initial process of analysis in aid of ethical reflection will further serve to examine Nightingales brand of theological ethics. Thus, making this study akin to the critical reflection of historical praxis common to liberationist ethical reflections of liberation theology. This study does, in fact, show that Care Ethics formulation is more infused with form and substance if it will be an ethics that is built on conditions of possibilities for character formation, action, and social transformation factors rich in Nightingales case. The historical account prepares for the retrieval of ethical principles explicitly and implicitly present both in historical, personal/practical, and documentary evidences studied in this present study which claims that formulations of ethics of care should not only explain oppressive situations but also deal with it through praxis.

The hermeneutical analysis (using Biblical scenarios of Jesus healing ministry, the concept of orthopodeo in Galatians, the faith-works in James, and the parable of the Good Samaritan verifies the theological quality of her caring works and reforms. The face of God in Jesus Caring is an attempt to offer the challenge of following a caring Jesus and fulfil the mandate of loving God and neighbor.

The foregoing analyses yield the identification of norms relevant to the present time and context. Moreover, her practices of care can be transposed to settings and systems where Nightingales horizons of expectations find application.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.

This document is currently not available here.