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Spiritual Warfare and Six Other Spiritual Writings by Peter of John Olivi

translation, introductions and notes by Robert J. Karris, OFM

Publication Year: 2012

People generally identify Peter of John Olivi (d. 1298) as a theologian or philosopher. Some might also characterize him as a Franciscan reformer who ran afoul of the Roman authorities after his death. Few would venture to call him a Spiritual Director. Yet there are short works under his name that demonstrate that he was indeed a Spiritual Director. The audience for these works generally consisted of lay people who wanted to make progress on the road to perfection as well as many who felt the end times were upon them. Olivi’s four spiritual writings helped the Beguins prepare to interpret the cosmic significance of the persecuting events - the Inquisition - soon to interrupt their lives. These writings are augmented with three other pieces: His treatise on The Lord’s Prayer; his treatise on The Seven Sentiments of Christ Jesus; an abbreviated version of his commentary on Mary’s response to Gabriel in Luke 1:26-38. These additional three writings help give a wider window onto Peter of John Olivi, Spiritual Director.

Published by: Franciscan Institute Publications

Cover Page

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Front Matter

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Table of Contents

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pp. 3-

Abbreviations and Short Titles

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pp. 4-6

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Introduction to the Seven Treatises

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pp. 7-8

People generally identify Peter of John Olivi (d. 1298) as a theologian or philosopher. Some might also characterize him as a Franciscan reformer who ran afoul of the Roman authorities after his death. Few would venture to call him a Spiritual Director. ...

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Chapter I: The Prayer of Thanksgiving

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pp. 9-16

Peter of John Olivi has constructed this brief treatise to thank the Lord, to give instruction on the Creed, and to inspire a change of life. As he offers prayers of thanksgiving, Peter of John Olivi treats the mysteries of the faith: creation and re-creation (nn. 1-2), the Old Testament Law and Promises (n. 3), the incarnation (n. 4), ...

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Chapter II : Lessons on Growth in the Spiritual Life

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pp. 17-24

The heart of this spiritual treatise lies in nn. 15-16. In these numbers Peter of John Olivi reminds his readers that it is not sufficient to think about growing in virtue. One must take certain steps. In contemporary society so many people are concerned about losing weight. ...

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Chapter III : Remedies Against Spiritual Temptations

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pp. 25-36

This short treatise is rather straightforward as Peter of John Olivi gives twelve remedies against spiritual temptations in n. 2-13 and four safeguards against those who broadcast corrupt teaching in n. 14-18. Peter of John Olivi notes that his teaching stems from traditional sources, ...

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Chapter IV : Interpretation of Luke 1:26-38: Mary’s devout prayer, vigilance, and loving obedience

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pp. 37-54

I have included sections of Peter of John Olivi’s interpretation of Luke 1:26-38 for three main reasons. First his astute observations on the spiritual life are not limited to special treatises, but are also found in his commentaries, originally offered to young Franciscans in the Order’s study houses. ...

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Chapter V: Treatise on The Lord’s Prayer

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pp. 55-76

Just about every theologian in the Middle Ages wrote a treatise on The Lord’s Prayer. I would venture to say that Peter of John Olivi’s is unique. He isn’t content to give a petition by petition interpretation. Rather in his first two sections he treats the seven petitions from the philosophical/ theological category of matter and form.49 ...

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Chapter VI : On the Seven Sentiments of Christ Jesus

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pp. 77-102

This treatise is a profound meditation in eleven steps on Philippians 2:5: “Have this mind in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” Readers should keep in mind that seven is a number of perfection for Peter of John Olivi and other medieval commentators. ...

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Chapter VII : Peter of John Olivi’s Treatise on Spiritual Warfare or “The Armed Soldier”

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pp. 103-124

Peter of John Olivi’s spiritual treatise on Spiritual Warfare or “The Armed Soldier” presupposes medieval arms and armor.150 In the footnotes I will explain the various medieval arms and armor involved in Peter Olivi’s treatise. In the footnotes I will also refer to two interpretive parallels for Peter of John Olivi’s spiritual thought. ...

Scripture Index

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pp. 125-128


E-ISBN-13: 9781576593554
E-ISBN-10: 157659355X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781576593448
Print-ISBN-10: 1576593444

Page Count: 112
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: First