The Greek East and the Spiritual Franciscan View of History

Mar 31, 2017
Swift Hall, Common Room
1025 E 58th St,
Chicago, IL 60637
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Brian FitzGeraldHarvard University


Cosponsored by the Theology & Religious Ethics Workshop

The Spiritual Franciscan Angelo Clareno (d.1337) fervently promoted the view that St. Francis’ life and Rule renewed the true evangelic life.  When ecclesiastical persecution led him to flee to Greece, Angelo came into contact with both Greek monasticism and Greek theology based on the Church fathers. While in Greece, he translated Greek texts and he found in Greek monastic traditions possibilities for living according to Francis’ rule outside the Franciscan order. Angelo’s time in Greece also led him to reflect on Church history and the relationship between Greek and Latin Christianity. Thus the eastern monastic tradition helped Angelo to explore ways of living the apostolic life and to develop a view of Church history that differed from other Spiritual Franciscans.

IMAGE: Roma, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, cod. Vitt. Em. 1167: Celestino V benedice Angelo Clareno e gli altri frati (particolare)

Brian FitzGerald is Lecturer in the Program on History and Literature at Harvard University. He holds a DPhil in History from Oxford University. A scholar of medieval history, his research focuses on the intellectual and religious culture of Europe from the twelfth to the fo­urteenth century.  His first book, Inspiration and Authority in the Middle Ages: Prophets and their Critics from Scholasticism to Humanism, examines how medieval intellectuals in France, England, and Italy sought to understand and resolve competing claims of divine inspiration or prophecy. His other research interests include medieval historical consciousness, medieval literary theory, interactions between eastern and western Christianity, and Renaissance humanism.