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Jessie Ball duPont Library
Christian Mysticism and Spirituality Research Guide
A guide to the research of Christian Mysticism and Spirituality for the School of Theology at the University of the South
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Resources for Christian Mysticism & Spirituality on the Web
The mission of this website, based within Calvin College, is to make classic Christian literature widely available and promote its use for edification and study by interested Christians, seekers and scholars. The CCEL accomplishes this by selecting, collecting, distributing, and promoting valuable literature through the World Wide Web and other media. By clicking on the Browse area, users can search by Title, Author, Format, Language and Subject.
Thomas of Celano was around Francis's age, and he joined the Franciscan order around 1215, or shortly after its founding. He was one of the brothers chosen to establish the order in Germany in 1221, but he returned to Italy a few years later. Thomas was asked by Pope Gregory IX (the bishop of Ostia mentioned in the biography) to write a biography of Francis, perhaps at the time of Francis's canonization in 1228. The life was completed in 1229. This is, therefore, the earliest view of Francis, one that would be subsequently revised. Thomas composed a second, revised life of Francis around 1246. Thomas also composed a collection of the miracles of St. Francis, a biography of St. Clare of Assisi (d. 1255), and the hymn Dies Irae.This translation is taken from M. L. Cameron, The Inquiring Pilgrim's Guide to Assisi, trans. A. G. Ferrers Howell (London, 1926).
Saints' lives are a major resource for anyone concerned with the history of the late ancient world, Byzantium, or the Latin Middle ages. Just as whole genres of ancient literature vanished or diminished, the genre of hagiography became a major form of literary production. Such saint's "Lives" - or "vitae" - survive in astonishing numbers. Careful reading of them reveals, as one might expect, a great deal about the religious life of the periods that produced them. Frequently, however, such Lives are also our best sources for basic social and cultural history. They provide information on, among other things:- details of daily life; food and drink; organization of local rural and urban society; the impact of commerce; gender relations; class relations; and even, on occasion, specific dates for military and political history.
"A freely available archive of significant primary texts relating to religion and mythology. Texts are presented in English translation and, in some cases, in the original language." Covers Ancient, Eastern, and Western religions