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"Persevere! . . . God Will Help You!" Thomas À Kempis's Sermons For The Novices And His Perspective On Pastoral Care

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the Sermones ad novicios regulares, which Thomas à Kempis wrote in his capacity as master of novices at Mount Saint Agnes near Zwolle, a community of regular canons of Windesheim. It is one of several works that he wrote for their education, and provides insight into his views on pastoral care, as far as it was provided inside a religious community. The chapter investigates how Thomas attempted to guide the young brothers in their first steps on the path towards spiritual perfection that was the goal of religious people. First, the chapter provides data on Thomas and his community at Mount Saint Agnes. Second, it describes the development of Devotio Moderna ideas about how to reach perfection. Third, the chapter investigates the structure of Sermones ad Novicios and provides a sketch its contents. Fourth, it presents an analysis of how Thomas functioned as a pastor.

Keywords: Devotio Moderna; Mount Saint Agnes; novices; pastor; pastoral care; Sermones ad novicios regulares; spiritual perfection; Thomas à Kempis



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