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Franciscan Learning: University Education And Biblical Exegesis

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Chapter Summary

The legacy of Francis to his Order regarding learning was, at best, ambiguous. A certain amount of learning was needed for effective preaching of the gospel. Yet within the first generation of Franciscans there were those who believed that in order to combat heresy, to bring sinners to repentance, and to inspire the faithful, theological training in the Bible and doctrine were necessary for the Franciscan mission. The founding of convents at Paris, Oxford, and Cambridge was as much out of concern for the spiritual life of an urban population, particularly those whose business carried them from town to town, as it was proximity to emerging universities. From a curricular perspective, one would expect that the majority of biblical exegesis in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries would have been the work of secular bachelors and masters.

Keywords: biblical exegesis; Franciscan learning; theological training



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