A Companion to Observant Reform in the Late Middle Ages and Beyond


Editors: and
The Observant Movement was a widespread effort to reform religious life across Europe. It took root around 1400, and for a century and more thereafter it inspired or shaped much that became central to European religion and culture. The Observants produced many of the leading religious figures of the later Middle Ages—Catherine of Siena, Bernardino of Siena and Savonarola in Italy, Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros in Spain, and in Germany Martin Luther himself. This volume provides scholars with a current, synthetic introduction to the Observant Movement. Its essays also seek collectively to expand the horizons of our study of Observant reform, and to open new avenues for future scholarship.

Contributors are Michael D. Bailey, Pietro Delcorno, Tamar Herzig, Anne Huijbers, James D. Mixson, Alison More, Carolyn Muessig, Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli, Bert Roest, Timothy Schmitz, and Gabriella Zarri.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Pages: 1–20
Pages: 363–423
Name Index
Pages: 424–429
Subject Index
Pages: 430–433
James D. Mixson (Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, 2002) is Associate Professor of History at the University of Alabama. He is the author of Poverty’s Proprietors: Ownership and Mortal Sin at the Origins of the Observant Movement (Brill, 2009) as well as several translations and essays on religious life and Observant reform in the later Middle Ages.

Bert Roest (Ph.D. University of Groningen, 1996) teaches Medieval History at Radboud University Nijmegen. His publications include A History of Franciscan Education (c. 1210-1517) (Brill, 2000), Franciscan Literature of Religious Instruction Before the Council of Trent (Brill, 2004), Order and Disorder: The Poor Clares Between Foundation and Reform (Brill, 2013), and Franciscan Learning, Preaching and Mission c. 1220-1650: Cum Scientia sit Donum Dei, Armatura ad Defendendam Sanctam Fidem Catholicam (Brill, 2015).
“The volume should encourage and help scholars of Observant reform in the late Middle Ages to carry out truly comparative research, as it lays a very solid foundation for future study in this field.”
Jan Stejskal, Palacký University. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Spring 2017), pp. 338-339.
Preface and Acknowledgments
James Mixson and Bert Roest



Ecclesiastical Institutions and Religious Life in the Observant Century
Gabriella Zarri

Observant Reform’s Conceptual Frameworks between Principle and Practice
James D. Mixson

Dynamics of Regulation, Innovation, and Invention
Alison More

“Observance” as Paradigm in Mendicant and Monastic Chronicles
Anne Huijbers



“Quomodo discet sine docente?” Observant Efforts towards Education and Pastoral Care
Pietro Delcorno

Bernardino da Siena and Observant Preaching as a Vehicle for Religious Transformation
Carolyn Muessig

Pawn Broking between Theory and Practice in Observant Socio-Economic Thought
Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli

Reformers on Sorcery and Superstition
Michael D. Bailey

Female Mysticism, Heterodoxy, and Reform
Tamar Herzig



The Observance and the Confrontation with Early Protestantism
Bert Roest

The Jeronymites and Reform in the Era of the Council of Trent
Timothy Schmitz

From Reconquista to Mission in the Early Modern World
Bert Roest



List of Illustrations

1/ Statuti del Monte di Pietà di Firenze (secc. XV-XVII). Florence, Collezione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze
2/ Libro di conti (riscontro di cassa) (1795). Bologna, Archivio della Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna
3/ Statuti del Monte di Pietà di Udine (1499). Udine, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Udine e Pordenone
4/ Gonfalone della Pietà (XV sec.). Modena, Palazzo Comunale
4a/ Gonfalone della Pietà (XV sec.). Modena, Palazzo Comunale, detail
5/ Marco da Montegallo, Tabula della salute (1494). Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale, inv. B.6 18.B

All interested in the history of medieval religion, religious life, and culture, the history of reform and the transition from the late medieval to the early modern world.
  • Collapse
  • Expand