Constant J. Mews, Anna Elizabeth Welch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


In thirteenth-century Europe, increasing urban prosperity raised new ways of thinking about how the Christian life should be led, particularly among many new groups who invoked the ideal of ‘the apostolic life’. While some were perceived as existing on the edges of orthodoxy, the most famous and successful of these groups were the new mendicant religious orders founded by Francis of Assisi and by Dominic of Osma, one called the Order of Friars Minor, the other the Order of Preachers (the names Franciscan and Dominican being invented only centuries later). Commitment to voluntary poverty was in principle one of the core elements of their way of life, although there was much debate as to how this should be interpreted. The ideal of poverty also inuenced devotional attitudes. One manifestation of this new awareness of the poverty of Christ was an intensied focus on his suering, his crucied body symbolising a supreme act of self-abandonment for the sake of humanity. There was little consensus, however, on how exactly Christians should live out what Jesus had said about poverty. Not all mendicant saints canonised between the thirteenth and fteenth centuries are presented by their biographers as sharing the same commitment to poverty, either in their lives or in their devotional practices. The papers in this volume attempt to address these questions about how poverty and devotion were practised and interpreted within various types of mendicant culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPoverty and Devotion in Mendicant Cultures 1200-1450:
Subtitle of host publicationChurch, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West
EditorsConstant J. Mews, Anna Welch
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315601755
ISBN (Print)9781472437327
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameChurch, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West

Cite this