HIS 350L • Saints Francis and Clare-W
This senior-level undergraduate seminar explores the lives of St. Francis (1181-1226) and St. Clare (1194-1253) in medieval context and modern representation. Discussing the rich and controversial material about these historical figures - from medieval saints' lives, songs, plays, and artistic representations to modern novels, movies and operas - students will analyze and write about questions that troubled the medieval world and still affect our own. Our topics include the virtues of poverty and wealth; the ascetic expression of gender and sexuality; the reality of miracles and stigmata; personal, civic and church-based expressions of power; and the power of holy texts for Christian, Muslims, and Jews. Includes a substantial writing component.
Primary written sources including: Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, ed. R.J. Armstrong and I.C. Brady Bonaventure (1221-1274), "Life of Francis" James of Varazzo (c. 1230-1298), "Life of Francis" from The Golden Legend Antonia Pulci (1452-1501), "The Play of St. Francis" Secondary Sources including: Richard Kieckhever, "Sainthood in the Christian Tradition" in Sainthood. Its Manifestations in the World Religions (1988) Clara Gennaro, "Clare, Agnes, and their Earliest Followers" in D. Bornstein and R. Rusconi, eds., Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (1996) Lester Little, Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy (1978/1983) Richard Trexler, Naked Before the Father (1989)