(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012) 305 pp. isbn 978-0-521-75782-9 (pbk). £18.99. The figure of Francis of Assisi continues to interest, attract and fascinate, both beyond and within the Christian Church where religious orders associated with him remain a significant presence. Alongside this widespread influence, there has been sustained scholarly work over recent decades aimed at deepening our understanding of Francis in his historical context and disentangling him from the many layers of idealization that have grown around this compelling figure from his time to our own, not least the Romantic construction in the nineteenth century of an anti-institutional religious genius. Critical editions and studies of the earliest texts, including those of Francis himself, have been a vital part of that endeavour. Devoting a volume to Francis in the respected ‘Companions’ series from Cambridge University Press – multi-author volumes aimed at making academic studies accessible to a general readership – therefore represents an important opportunity to bridge the gap between enduring popular interest and recent scholarship. The reader hoping to find an account of Francis’ influence on and reception within Christian spirituality from the thirteenth century to the twenty first will, however, be disappointed; likewise anyone who turns to
Ecclesiology – Brill
Published: Jan 23, 2015
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