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Juan De Ávila And The Spiritual Discipline Of Public Service

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Chapter Summary

Juan De Ávila was able to muster elements of traditional Roman Catholic piety in a subtle but straightforward criticism of Castilian patrician families. His criticism found expression in many of his sermons on the Eucharist and on the Holy Spirit. His approach to Spanish nobility was not always confrontational or dismissive, and after all, his most important patrons came from within the ranks of the Spanish nobility. In his sermons and letters, he addressed the question and problematic of public service. He also endeavored to provide a theological understanding of public service and to present it in terms of his distinctively ascetic spirituality. He conceived of public service as a spiritual discipline, a spiritual exercise. In sermon thirty-five, “Acompañando el arca del testamento nuevo,” Ávila develops his ideas about public service in relation to the celebration of Corpus Christi. Ávilas disciples gathered his letters and published them as spiritual treatises.

Keywords: Juan De vila sermons; public service; spiritual discipline



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