Becker, Christopher Edmund

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Salvatorian founder of the Medical Mission Institute of Würzburg; b. Elsoff, near Frankfort am Main, Oct. 22, 1875; d. Würzburg, March 30, 1937. He entered the Society of the Divine Savior in Rome in 1889 and obtained doctorates in philosophy and theology before his ordination in 1898. He was professor and then rector of the Salvatorian house in Merano until in 1905 when he was made first prefect apostolic of the Salvatorian mission field in Assam, India. He labored there until World War I interrupted mission activities. With his missionaries, Becker was first interned and then expelled from India. Since it was impossible to return, Becker resigned his position of prefect apostolic after the war. In 1922 he founded the Medical Mission Institute of Würzburg, the first of its kind to train qualified physicians for work in the foreign missions (see medical missions). He remained director of the institute until his death, and he also served as professor of missiology at the University of Würzburg. His writings include Im Stromtal des Brahmaputra (Munich 1927); Indisches Kastenwesen und christliche Mission (Aachen 1921); and Missionsärztliche Kulturarbeit (Würzburg 1928).

Bibliography: g. wunderle, "Professor C. E. Becker: Gründer des Missionsärztlichen Instituts," Katholische Missions ärztliche Fürsorge: Jahresbericht 14 (1937) 314. g. schreiber, Deutsches Reich und deutsche Medizin (Leipzig 1926) 292ff.

[w. herbst]