A Companion to Clare of Assisi

Life, Writings, and Spirituality

Author: Joan Mueller
Clare of Assisi: Life, Writings and Spirituality examines Clare not merely as an obedient footnote to the friars, but as a Franciscan founder in her own right who kept primitive Franciscan ideals alive into the middle of the thirteenth century and transposed them into a woman’s key. Bringing together the best of international research, the text examines Clare’s importance within the early Franciscan milieu and her contribution to the thirteenth-century women's movement. It studies the radicalism of Clare's Franciscan choice, her life within the Monastery of San Damiano, her politicking with Agnes of Prague for the "privilege of poverty," and her uniqueness among other women in Gregory IX's Damianite ordo. Following this historical study are critical translations and literary analyses of Clare's four letters to Agnes of Prague as well as a new translation and commentary on Clare’s Forma Vitae.

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Joan Mueller, Ph.D. (1992) in Theology, Duquesne Univeristy, is Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Spirituality at Creighton University. Her extensive publications on Clare of Assisi and the Franciscan movement include The Privilege of Poverty (Penn State University Press, 2006).
"A Companion to Clare of Assisi is thus recommended to university and seminary libraries as an irnportant reference book, as well as for inclusion in courses which study the lives of medieval religious women."
Bruce Paolozzi, Claremont Graduate University. In: Anglican and Episcopal History (2012), pp. 462-463.

"This book is well produced and edited, containing eight beautiful and useful illustrations at the back. [...] Overall this is an engaging and serendipitous book. Collecting the results of the industry of Franciscan research, especially as it relates to Clare, is a monumental task and Mueller has pulled it off well. The wealth of contemporary studies incorporated in this book make it extremely useful to scholars and students alike."
Donald S. Prudlo, Francia-Recensio 2012.

"Bringing together the best of international research, the text examines Clare's importance within the early Franciscan milieu and her contribution to the thirteenth-century women's movement."
Studies in Spirituality Vol. 21 (2011), pp. 374-375.

‘’Questo di J.M. e’uno dei migliori lavori realizzati in lingua inglese su Chiara di Assisi negli ultimi anni. L’A. si inserisce definitivamente nel gruppo degli specialisti di Santa Chiara, con un lavoro che ha il pregio non soltanto di tenere conto di tutta la migliore bibliografia in tante lingue diverse […] ma anche di fornire nuove piste di riflessione e approfondimento.’’
Marco Bartoli, Universita’ di Roma LUMSA. In: Revue D’Histoire Ecclésiastique.
List of Illustrations
Chapter One The Franciscan Choice
Chapter Two The Monastery of S Damiano
Chapter Three The Politics of “Infant’s Milk”: Clare of Assisi
and the Privilege of Poverty
Chapter Four The Ordo that Gregory IX Founded: Clare
among other Ugolinian Sisters
Chapter Five Reading Clare’s Letters in Context
Chapter Six The Agnes Legend in Clare’s Letters
Appendix: The Legend of S Agnes of Rome
Chapter Seven Clare’s Forma Vitae: Unique Contributions
Clare’s First Letter to Agnes
Clare’s Second Letter to Agnes
Clare’s Third Letter to Agnes
Clare’s Fourth Letter to Agnes
Clare’s Forma Vitae 275Bibliography