Ever since the time of Francis of Assisi, a commitment to voluntary poverty has been a controversial aspect of religious life. This volume explores the interaction between poverty and religious devotion in the mendicant orders between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. While poverty has often been perceived more as a Franciscan than as a Dominican emphasis, this volume considers its role within a broader movement of evangelical renewal associated with the mendicant transformation of religious life. At a time of increased economic prosperity, reformers within the Church sought new ways of encouraging identification with the person of Christ. This volume considers the paradoxical tension between voluntary poverty as a way of emulating Christ and involuntary poverty as situation demanding a response from those with the means to help the poor. Drawing on history, literature and visual arts, it explores how the mendicant orders continued to transform religious life into the time of the renaissance. The papers in this volume are organised under three headings, prefaced with an introductory essay by the editors: Poverty and the Rule of Francis, exploring the interpretation of poverty in the Franciscan Order; Devotional Cultures, considering aspects of devotional life fostered by mendicant religious communities, Franciscan, Augustinian and Dominican; Preaching Poverty, on the way poverty was promoted and practiced within the Dominican Order in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Poverty and the Rule of Francis
Constant J. Mews
Apostolic ideals in the mendicant transformation of the thirteenth century:
From sine proprio to holy poverty
The decree Exivi de Paradiso and its implications for mendicant poverty
Campion Murray ofm
The understanding of paupertas in The Tree of the Crucified Life of Jesus
Religious dissent in the vernacular: The literature of the Fraticelli in late fourteenth-century Florence
From preacher to mystic: Changing interpretations of Francis of Assisi in thirteenth-century sources
A Feast of Love: Visual images of Francis of Assisi and Mary Magdalen and late medieval mendicant devotion
Earl Jeffrey Richards
The prayer Anima Christi and Dominican popular devotion: Late medieval examples of the interface between high ecclesiastical culture and popular piety
St Thomas Aquinas’ relics and lay devotion in the fourteenth century southern Italy
Performing poverty: the vices and virtues of the Order of Preachers
Johnny Grandjean Gøgsig Jakobsen
"Beggars in silky robes and palaces": Friars Preachers preaching and practising poverty in medieval Northern Europe
Ideas of poverty in late medieval Dominican preaching materials from Catalonia and Aragon
"Where the poor of Christ are cherished": Poverty in the preaching of Antoninus of Florence
Constant J. Mews is Professor within the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies and Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology at Monash University, Australia.
Anna Welch (Ph.D. 2011, University of Divinity) works in the History of the Book department at State Library Victoria (Melbourne). Her first monograph is based on her doctoral research: Liturgy, Books and Franciscan Identity in Medieval Umbria (2015).