Francis of Assisi: The Life and Afterlife of a Medieval Saint

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Yale University Press, Oct 23, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
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In this towering work, André Vauchez draws on the vast body of scholarship on Francis of Assisi produced over the past forty years as well on as his own expertise in medieval hagiography to tell the most comprehensive and authoritative version of Francis’s life and afterlife published in the past half century. 

After a detailed and yet engaging reconstruction of Francis's life and work, Vauchez focuses on the myriad texts—hagiographies, chronicles, sermons, personal testimonies, etc.—of writers who recorded aspects of Francis's life and movement as they remembered them, and used those remembrances to construct a portrait of Francis relevant to their concerns. We see varying versions of his life reflected in the work of Machiavelli, Luther, Voltaire, German and English romantics, pre-Raphaelites, Italian nationalists, and Mussolini, and discover how peace activists, ecologists, or interreligious dialogists have used his example to promote their various causes. Particularly noteworthy is the attention Vauchez pays to Francis’s own writings, which strangely enough have been largely overlooked by later interpreters.

The product of a lifetime of study, this book reveals a historian at the height of his powers.

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Francis of Assisi: The Life and Afterlife of a Medieval Saint

User Review  - Augustine J. Curley - Book Verdict

This new biography by Vauchez (professor emeritus, Univ. of Paris X; Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages), a specialist in the religious movements of the Middle Ages, was published in France in 2010, and ... Read full review

Review: Francis of Assisi: The Life and Afterlife of a Medieval Saint

User Review  - Krijn Pansters - Goodreads

The best biography of Francis anno 2014: scholarly study of his life and works; great analysis of his spirituality; correction of popular misunderstandings about the saint and his worldview. Read full review

About the author (2012)

DIVAndré Vauchez is professor emeritus, University of Paris X. Michael Cusato, O.F.M., teaches at the Dominican House of Studies. He lives in Washington, DC./divDIV /div

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