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Original Research

Franciscus van Assisi: Sy teologie van barmhartige diens

R.B. (Botha) van Aarde

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 24, No 2 (2003), 557-571. doi: 10.4102/ve.v24i2.352

Submitted: 17 November 2003
Published:  17 November 2003


One of the most remarkable men in church history was Giovanni Bernardone (1182-1226), nicknamed Franciscus of Assisi. After his conversion he took Jesus’ instruction to his disciples in Mark 6:8 to hart and made poverty his “bride”. The historical background of church and society in the 13th century had a major impact on his theology. He objected against the negative effects of the crusades, economy of prosperity and growing humanism of the time. His bondage to God, mankind and nature later became the major characteristic of the mendicant order of the Franciscans. St. Franciscus’ theology of compassionate ministry was also a reaction to the scholasticism with its focus on reason. Scholasticism “believed in order to understand”. It was a theology (philosophy) of the intellectuals at the universities in Europe and focussed mainly on the mind/reason. In St. Franciscus’ theology the mistic (as a reaction against the scholasticism) and the mediaeval piety flowed into one. This mistical piety focussed on the emotions of man and touched lay people.

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Author affiliations

R.B. (Botha) van Aarde, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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