Skip to main content

War or the Business of God: Sacred Mission, Accounting and Spanish Military Hospitals in the 18th Century

Funnell, Warwick N., Banos Sanchez-Matamoros, Juan (2015) War or the Business of God: Sacred Mission, Accounting and Spanish Military Hospitals in the 18th Century. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 28 (3). pp. 434-459. ISSN 0951-3574. (doi:10.1108/AAAJ-01-2014-1588) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-01-2014-1588

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to establish the importance of accounting in the management of Spanish military hospitals by the St John’s Order (SJO) of the Roman Catholic Church in the eighteenth century, a time of crisis between the Church and the State. The sacred mission of the Order required that they had a significant role outside the Roman Catholic Church in the care and treatment of the sick and infirm which required them to establish hospitals throughout Spain and across the lands that it had conquered. The study establishes that accounting played a key role in ensuring the success of the unconventional commercial relationship between the SJO and the government and the military. Design/methodology/approach – Niebuhr’s typology is used to help understand how accounting practices were consistent, indeed essential, expectations of the sacred mission of the SJO and not something which represented a denial of the Order’s religious beliefs. The paper relies primarily on documents and other material located in Spanish archives. Findings – The SJO accepted that secular accounting and accountability processes were relevant to their search for God’s love and to showing this love to others. The need for the Order to be accountable to the State was not regarded as profane and antithetical to their religious beliefs. Adopting Niebuhr’s typology of religion and society, this study concludes that the Order was an extraordinary example of Christ the transformer of the culture. Originality/value – This study recognises the need to deepen the understanding of the way in which accounting practices have often played a critical role in the activities of religious organisations by examining an extraordinary example of one organisation which was engaged in an unusual, ongoing, highly complex commercial relationship with the Spanish State.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/AAAJ-01-2014-1588
Uncontrolled keywords: Accounting, Niebuhr, Spanish military hospitals, St John’s Order
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Warwick Funnell
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2016 09:47 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:40 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/56672 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):