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The Legenda Minor

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the Legenda minor as Bonaventure's attempt as minister general to construct the identity of his confreres by reworking the institutional memory of the Poverello through the spatial-theological genre proper to choir legendae. It explores the performative nature of the Legenda minor as a liturgical text and the architectural context of Bonaventure's writing by emphasizing the theological significance of light in choir prayer. The chapter takes up selected questions revolving around the date of Bonaventure's liturgical legend, which is typically assigned by scholars simply in relation to the presumed earlier date of the Legenda maior. Choir legends like the Legenda minor are primarily conceived, composed, and received as spatial-theological texts, ritually performed in a designated sacred space and season. With regard to the date for the composition of the Legenda minor, most scholars follow the timeline of Jacques Guy Bougerol, who suggested a period between 1260 and 1263.

Keywords: Bonaventure; choir legends; Jacques Guy Bougerol; Legenda minor; Poverello



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