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Ritual Purity And Pastoral Reform In The Thirteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

Priestly purity was becoming identified with the purity of apostolic life. Both the older rhetoric, which was primarily concerned with sacramental acts of the impure clergy, and newer rhetoric, which focused on the preaching and example of the clergy, were employed throughout the thirteenth century. To demonstrate how these two forms of rhetoric emerged, and how they help to refine late medieval notions of pastoral care, this chapter concentrates on three sources from thirteenth century. The first is the Stella clericorum, which was primarily focused on dangers of priestly impurity and its effects on sacramental acts. The Dominicans extended issues associated with purity to the tasks of preaching and teaching, which can be seen in Humbert of Romans Treatise on the Formation of Preachers. Francis of Assisis writings reflect both the concerns of the Stella clericorum and issues related to preaching, but essentially identified purity of heart with ritual purity.

Keywords: impure clergy; pastoral care; pastoral reform; preaching; purity of heart; ritual purity; sacramental acts; Stella clericorum; Treatise on the Formation of Preachers



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