Read Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel of Life by Lawrence S. Cunningham Online

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Francis of Assisi is counted among the most important personalities of history. The life and ideals of this humble, semiliterate medieval friar have had a shaping influence on the Christian church that has spilled over into Western culture at large. This biography by Lawrence Cunningham looks anew at Francis's life and legacy, seeking to counter efforts to romanticize himFrancis of Assisi is counted among the most important personalities of history. The life and ideals of this humble, semiliterate medieval friar have had a shaping influence on the Christian church that has spilled over into Western culture at large. This biography by Lawrence Cunningham looks anew at Francis's life and legacy, seeking to counter efforts to romanticize him yet without diminishing his deep piety or abiding significance.Pursuing a realistic view of the saint, Cunningham argues against common stereotypes that sentimentalize Francis as a "blesser of animals," as a "church rebel," or as a precursor of the "spirituality" movement. According to Cunningham, really seeing Francis requires the lens of theology rather than the lens of quaint spirituality so often used. Francis was a devotedly orthodox Catholic whose life must be understood as a response to reforming elements abroad in the church of his day. Francis's originality derived from his success in articulating the "ideal gospel life": his message and actions were a kind of "acting out" of the scriptures.Imbued with peerless scholarship, this book is also charmingly written. Cunningham is a master storyteller as well as a brilliant biographer -- qualities that his Francis of Assisi fully displays. It will at once inform and delight anyone interested in the fascinating life of Francis or his impact on church history....

Title : Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel of Life
Author :
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ISBN : 9780802827623
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 172 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel of Life Reviews

  • SteveR
    2019-02-25 12:11

    Francis of Assisi has interested me for quite some time, but this is the first book that I have read on his life (and this may influence my opinion of the book). Comments from Kate and the sub-title, “Performing the Gospel Life” intrigued me to read this book.The book clearly emphasizes that Francis lived a life of prayer, preaching, peace, sacrifice (poverty) and service. “His whole life was shaped by a conscious decision to be on the side of the poor after the example of Christ.”The book did not provide me with a true sense of the personal or human side of Francis. The author states that Francs is “the most lovable of saints” - which is certainly the impression I/we have - and he was “a powerful charismatic influence on people.” However, the book seemed impersonal and academic. I was disappointed because I expected “the Gospel Life” to be a “human life” just as Christ was human, Of the nine chapters, not until late in the book, chapter eight, did the book delve into how Francis really lived the “Gospel Life.” This was the most meaningful part of the book.Kate, help me. What did I miss?

  • John
    2019-02-24 11:17

    Cunningham, I believe, captures Francis of Assisi in a way that other writings don't.Emphasizing Francis as one who "performed" the Gospels, he provides a moving portrait, placing Francis in the context of his age.The last half of chapter 8, "Francis Reconsidered," is a moving reflection on the meaning of Francis in light of his following of the poor Christ. Francis "would become poor because Christ was poor."There are a few errors I detected. For example, he locates Francis' tomb in the lower church of the Basilica in Assisi. It is actually in a crypt below the lower church.I would recommend this as a first book on Francis.

  • Kate
    2019-03-14 08:05

    after reading this i realized that he was really like the first hippie. his family was very wealthy and he cast off his velvet cloaks and went naked out into the world to serve the word of God. he helped the poor, took care of the sick and even cared for the animals giving them respect as God's most humble and beautiful creatures. his life is a great model to try and follow and the book has some very beautiful art in it as well.

  • Janet
    2019-02-26 06:15

    I read this book at the suggestion of a colleague. I have found that it speaks to me in a way that goes beyond any of the books about Francis that I have previously read. Lawrence Cunningham brings Francis into the 21st century in a way that is grounded in good theology. I want to do more with this book...have to figure out what that will look like.

  • Jane Glen
    2019-02-25 08:15

    I wanted to read a bio of Francis of Assisi. Now I have.

  • Lauren
    2019-03-14 12:10

    I really enjoyed the book. It delved into the real life of St. Francis, exposing myths and cutting away the attributed characteristics that certain groups had glued on to St. Francis. I really enjoyed reading it.

  • Seán
    2019-03-03 05:03

    A welcome biography that doesn't treat St. Francis like some proto-hippie running a doggy daycare, but rather attempts to place him in the context of the early 13th Century while examining why his work endures.

  • Patti Clement
    2019-03-02 09:11

    Great read about the Franciscan Tradition! Explains the depth of the Franciscan Tradition in an easy to read format.