Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3090
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Peterson , Ingrid, O.S.F.
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  • Title: Clare of Assisi's Mysticism of the Poor Crucified
  • Source: Studies in Spirituality 4, ( 1994): Pages 51 - 78.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Bride of Christ, Image of Clare of Assisi, Saint Crosses and Crucifixes Jesus Christ- Passion Mirror, Image of Mystics Poverty Theology Women in Religion
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 13
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  • Abstract: Clare of Assisi (1193-1253) lived during the time when women's religious movements and feminine spirituality flourished. While Clare's union with the humanity of Christ is expressed through spousal language, popularized by Bernard of Clairvaux, Clare makes a unique contribution to mystical thought in envisioning the Crucified as her spouse. For forty years, Clare contemplated a glorious image of the crucified Christ on the cross of San Damiano. Themes of the Crucified and the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem coexist in her mystical texts, just as they are simultaneously represented on the San Damiano icon. Because Jesus begged even his human flesh from the Virgin Mary, Clare's identity with God began with the povery of the crib and cross. Her understanding of poverty, like that of Francis, influenced her attitude toward the deceptions of the world and her place in the church as an enclosed woman. Clare brought the use of the medieval topos of the "speculum" to her contemplation of the cross and, desiring union, described a spousal mysticism with a crucified lover. The mirror of the invisible God, reflected in the crucified Christ, is the core of Clare's mysticism. For Clare, transformation in God meant imitation and spousal union with the Poor Crucified. [Reproduced with permission of the Titus Brandsma Institute (The Netherlands). Copies of "Studies in Spirituality" can be ordered from the publisher: Peeters Publishers, Bondgenotenlaan 153, B-3000 Louvain (www.peeters-leuven.be).]
  • Author's Affiliation: Franciscan Sabbaticals Program, Tau Center
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1994.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 09266453
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