Vårdande i kärlek: Kärleken går i strumpor

Ritva Römer

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph



Ritva Römer, 2019. Caring in love – Love tiptoes gently

Supervisors: PhD, Professor emerita Katie Eriksson and PhD, Associate ProfessorCarola Wärnå-Furu, Department of Caring Science, Faculty of Education and WelfareStudies, Åbo Academy University, Vasa 

Caring has been formed by its long history and tradition, which can be seen in the basicvalues and foundational ideas of caring. The overall aim of the study is to deepen theunderstanding of the inner essence and idea of caring through exposing how this isexpressed in the beginning of education of nurses in Kaiserswerth Deaconess Institute inGermany during the first half of the 19th century. The overarching question is: How is theessence and the idea of caring expressed in the beginning of education of nurses duringthe first half of the 19th century in Kaiserswerth Deaconess Institute? Two underlyingquestions in relation to the overarching question are: What is the content and thefoundation of the idea? What is the meaning of the words? 

The theoretical perspective of the study is caring science as it is outlined in the tradition ofcaring science that is developed in Department of Caring Science in Åbo AcademyUniversity in Finland and rests on the theory of caritative caring. The study is basicresearch and it orientates in the history of ideas and philology with a hermeneuticalapproach. The thesis is a monograph. 

The material has been collected in the archives of Kaiserswerth Deaconess Institute. Thematerial consists of approximately 2000 pages of text. The texts have been analyzed witha focus on the ideas of caring and the content and foundation of these ideas, and theyhave been interpreted in accordance with the hermeneutical interpretation which aims atunderstanding. The ideas of the early caring and the inner order of these ideas have thenbeen reflected against the thesis’s core of theory. This has led to six summarizing claimsand a new overall understanding of the essence of caring. 

The result shows that caring can be described as an expression of love and compassionwhere the unselfish essence of love obligates and gives birth to responsibility. Caring asan ethical expression of love builds on the tradition of caring and gives caring its nobilityand distinctive character and requires a deeper inner conviction and understanding of theethos and spirit of caring. This deep understanding leads to inner formation and to theidentity of a professional caring-person, of the caritative caregiver, and gives the caregiverstrength to fulfill his task as a caregiver in its full potential. When the ethos of caring –spirit – leads, the soul obeys and the body serves in the caritative act, caring is realized inits deepest meaning and also fulfills its mission in the society to guard human value andhumanity. 

Keywords: love, altruism, calling, formation, caring, caritative theory of caring,hermeneutics

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Print ISBNs978-951-765-938-3
Electronic ISBNs978-951-765-939-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


  • love
  • Hermeneutics
  • Caring
  • altruism
  • calling
  • caritative theory of caring
  • formation

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