Book Review: The Cambridge Companion to Francis of Assisi , edited by Michael J. P. Robson

Book Review: The Cambridge Companion to Francis of Assisi , edited by Michael J. P. Robson (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 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecclesiology Brill

Book Review: The Cambridge Companion to Francis of Assisi , edited by Michael J. P. Robson

Ecclesiology, Volume 11 (1): 136 – Jan 23, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Book Reviews
ISSN
1744-1366
eISSN
1745-5316
D.O.I.
10.1163/17455316-01101017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

(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

Journal

EcclesiologyBrill

Published: Jan 23, 2015

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