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Pertransibunt Plurimi: Reading Daniel To Transgress Authority

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Chapter Summary

In the Middle Ages the verse was never taken to apply approvingly to the inexorable proliferation of knowledge. Instead, it was interpreted variously to mean: (1) that scriptural truth is refractory yet ultimately open to one correct meaning; (2) that the proliferation of diverse expressions about the faith requires that they be pared down; (3) that scripture is so inherently rich in interlocking meanings that new ones are legitimately susceptible of discovery; (4) that knowledge of salvation has advanced incrementally in the past; and (5) that knowledge of salvation has advanced and will continue to advance. A last example the author cites is that of another disciple of Olivi's, the Franciscan John of Rupescissa, who languished in various prisons for over twenty years (1344 to c. 1365) because of his outspoken commitment to apostolic poverty and apocalyptic prophecy.

Keywords: Franciscan John; Olivi; Rupescissa



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