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Origins of the Franciscan Order

Cajetan Esser, O.F.M.

Publication Year: 1970

A study of the problems of the early history of the Franciscan Order by one of the most important scholars of the Order, this book seeks to contribute to a stronger historical understanding of the work of St. Francis by looking into the debates and theories surrounding the formation of the Order, and the transformation of the “original ideals of St. Francis.” Translated from the German.

Published by: Franciscan Institute Publications

Cover page

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-viii

This book has a particular history of its own. It is not at all the result of a plan that could have been carried out free from disturbance or interruption. The idea, to be sure, had been in my mind for many years, to treat anew 'on the basis of the most reliable...


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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-2

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Introduction: The Sources

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pp. 3-16

The more one has to do with the problems outlined in the Foreword, the stronger becomes the conviction, at first surprising, that all our modern attempts to solve them, do, in fact, have a certain basis in the medieval sources for the life of the Saint and...

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Chapter 1: The Beginnings of the New Community

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pp. 17-52

Even a cursory examination of the evidence contained in the sources presented in the Introduction reveals the perplexity and helplessness of contemporaries as they faced what was for them the obviously new phenomenon of the Franciscan Movement...

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Chapter II: The "Novelty" of the Order of Friars Minor

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pp. 53-136

So far in this study, we have attempted to throw light on those problems which arose as the new Order, almost spontaneously, grew around the person of St. Francis. In the course of our research, it became increasingly clear that, although this new...

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Chapter III: First Crises and Attempts to Overcome Them

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pp. 137-202

The life of the Friars Minor at the beginning of their Order was not only novel and without precedent, but difficult and onerous, too, in many respects. Not surprisingly, therefore, many who in the first fire of enthusiasm took up this life later found it a heavy burden. That they. lacked at first the stability a fixed abode...

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Chapter IV: The Christian Example of the New Community

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pp. 203-270

After we have attempted, in the course of our inquiry so far, to clarify as far as possible those problems connected with the outer development of the Franciscan movement, it remains for us now to discharge the incomparably more difficult task of presenting the...


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pp. 271-276

Index of Proper Names

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pp. 277-282

Subject Index

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pp. 283-289

E-ISBN-13: 9781576593233
E-ISBN-10: 1576593231
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819904089

Page Count: 302
Publication Year: 1970

Edition: First