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The secularisation of St Francis of Assisi

Heimann, Mary ORCID: 2017. The secularisation of St Francis of Assisi. British Catholic History 33 (3) , pp. 401-420. 10.1017/bch.2017.4

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St Francis of Assisi, mystic, stigmatic and founder of the Franciscans, has come to seem uncontroversial, a saint for ecologists, socialists and animal lovers as well as Christians of all denominations. Until his rediscovery by the Victorians, Francis was firmly associated with Roman Catholic doctrine, obedience to the papacy, participation in crusades and distinctively Catholic mystical phenomena. This article argues that Faber’s, Oliphant’s and Sabatier’s nineteenth-century Lives of St Francis opened the way for his appropriation by the general British public. The resulting denominational competition over the saint stimulated a boom in St Francis’ popularity but also led to his piecemeal secularisation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Uncontrolled Keywords: St Francis of Assisi Victorian English Catholics Lives of Saints Secularisation
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 2055-7973
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 January 2017
Date of Acceptance: 2 November 2016
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 07:07

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