Catholic Socialization and Goods of Salvation in Four French Humanitarian NGOs

By Johanna Siméant-Germanos

The paper aims to show the effects of Catholic socialization on humanitarian volunteers and employees. While such socialization appears to be a matter of faith, it also consists in the formation of certain aptitudes, abilities, and appetencies. The author analyzes the significance of Catholic socialization, examining the practical traditions of Catholicism and the acquired aptitudes which manifest themselves in humanitarianism. She also considers individual ways of salvation, the question of self-realization, and the restoration of identity, all of which make humanitarianism an “intermittent self-giving”. Finally she shows how contemporary NGOs represent (or in any case are seen as) “businesses for goods of salvation.”


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