Imagining Poverty: conceptualising and representing poverty and the poor in mendicant inspired literature, preaching and visual art 1220-1520

  • Mews, Constant (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Howard, Peter (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Pinder, Janice (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Renkin, Claire (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Scott, Anne (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Murray, Paul (Partner Investigator (PI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

This project explores the representation of poverty as a voluntary ideal and an economic reality in mendicant (especially Franciscan and Dominican) inspired writing and visual imagery 1220-1520. It asks why enthusiasm for poverty as an evangelical ideal in mendicant religious order developed in a society in which involuntary poverty was viewed as a shameful condition. It will produce a series of studies exploring the representation of both penitential voluntary poverty and involuntary poverty in preaching, literature (latin and vernacular), and visual art. They will present poverty as a polyvalent concept serving to promote awareness of the need for penitence and charity as well as of the needs of the poor.
Effective start/end date1/07/1131/12/16


  • Australian Research Council (ARC): A$60,000.00
  • Dominican Province of the Assumption: A$2,000.00
  • Franciscan Friars Province of the Holy Spirit: A$18,000.00