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Property And Community Between Penance And Perfection

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Chapter Summary

Around 1460, Martin of Leibitz, prior of the reformed Irish Benedictines in Vienna and a veteran of years of visitation across Bavaria and Austria, recounted in his Senatorium (c. 1460) why he had chosen to profess Benedictine religious life. Observants placed renunciation of their modern world of cash and comfort at the foundation of a program of penance and spiritual progress. Reforms leaders had to explain the precise nature of the vice of property and the evils of the proprietarii, and why meticulous attention to universal precepts or once-distant laws should trump long-standing local arrangements or the force of custom. By the fifteenth century, princes and court officials, pious laywomen, jurists, merchants and others beyond the ranks of the clergy constituted an increasingly literate and learned community. John crafted the Dreierlei Wesen according to the ancient threefold way of purgation, illumination and perfection.

Keywords: vice of property; Irish Benedictines; Observants; reformed community; spiritual progress



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