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Creating Clare of Assisi : female Franciscan…

Creating Clare of Assisi : female Franciscan identities in later medieval…

by Lezlie S. Knox

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Your contribution of this book to the collection whether by Virtual lending or by outright donation to the collection--would be most appreciated!
  societystf | Apr 6, 2016 |
Knox's book examines the highly contentious ways in which St Clare of Assisi was remembered and used by various parts of the Franciscan community between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. She argues for a reassessment of the traditional historiography about both Clare and the order which bears her name—contrary to what historians have believed, Knox says, Clare was not the order's founder, but rather a figurehead whose memory was co-opted to legitimate an order which had been shaped much more by the complexities of ecclesiastical politics, and by the contested nature of women within the Franciscan movement (male Franciscans largely rejected the presence of women within the movement, because of misogyny, a wish not to be tied down by pastoral responsibilities, and the vexed issue of living up to the ideals of true apostolic poverty.) I do wonder if Knox at points overplays the role of gender in the hostility between certain branches of the Franciscans—might practical issues raged by finding some way to support communities who reject the concept even of corporate/communal property not have been more pressing in some contexts?—but that quibble aside, this is a model of clear and accessible argumentation. ( )
  siriaeve | Oct 29, 2011 |
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Drawing upon the writings of medieval women, this book distinguishes the historical figure of Clare of Assisi from the uses made of her spiritual legacy in debates over the role of women in the Franciscan Order in later medieval Italy.

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