Religious Orders and Religious Identity Formation, ca. 1420-1620

Discourses and Strategies of Observance and Pastoral Engagement


This volume deals with the transformative force of Observant reforms during the long fifteenth century, and with the massive literary output by Observant religious, a token of a profound pastoral professionalization that provided religious and lay people alike with encompassing models of religious perfection, as well as with new tools to shape their religious identity. The essays in this work contend that these models and tools had an ongoing effect far into the sixteenth century (on all sides of the emerging confessional divide). At the same time, the controversies surrounding Observant reforms resulted in new sensibilities with regard to religious practices and religious nomenclature, which would fuel many of the early sixteenth-century controversies.
Contributors are Michele Camaioni, Anna Campbell, Fabrizio Conti, Anna Dlabačová, Sylvie Duval, Koen Goudriaan, Emily Michelson, Alison More, Bert Roest, Anne Thayer, Johanneke Uphoff, Alessandro Vanoli, Ludovic Viallet, and Martina Wehrli-Johns.

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Bert Roest teaches Medieval History at Radboud University Nijmegen. His most recent publications include Order and Disorder: The Poor Clares between Foundation and Reform (Brill, 2013), and Franciscan Learning, Preaching and Mission c. 1220-1650(Brill, 2015).
Johanneke Uphoff is currently a doctoral student at the University of Groningen within the project group Cities of Readers: Religious Literacies in the Long Fifteenth Century. Her research investigates the participation of lay people in the transmission of religious knowledge.
"[This book] makes a very useful contribution to scholarship of the Church at a crucial time of reform, initially Observant and later Protestant. It marshals textual, historical, and art historical evidence to this end... The book highlights the potential of this area for further study, especially using art historical and architectural evidence to investigate the Observance."
- Yvonne McDermott, in: Renaissance Quarterly 70.2 (2017).

"[The volume] thus succeeds in one of its primary goals, highlighting the greater need (and possibility) for a deeper understanding of this period of religious identity formation, both for its own sake and with regard to discussion of later issues of religious reform and challenge."
- Stefan Visnjevac, in: Journal of Ecclesiastical History 68.4 (2017).

"This volume, the thirteenth in the Brill Medieval Franciscans Series, represents one of the outcomes of a large interdisciplinary research project entitled Religious Orders and Religious Identity Formation c. 1420–c.1620 based at Radboud University, Nijmegen. It showcases the work of established and emerging scholars, presents much new material, and opens up several exciting lines of further research. [...] This is a very fascinating volume."
Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB in The Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies, 7 (2018), 358–361
List of Illustrations vii
Notes on Contributors viii
1 Introduction 1
Bert Roest and Johanneke Uphoff
2 The Observance’s Women: New Models of Sanctity and Religious
Discipline for the Female Dominican Observant Movement during the
Fifteenth Century 13
Sylvie Duval
3 Creating a Colettine Identity in an Observant and Post-Observant World:
Narratives of the Colettine Reforms after 1447 32
Anna Campbell
4 Instruction and Construction: Sermons and the Formation of a Clarissan
Identity in Nuremberg 48
Johanneke Uphoff
5 Canonical Change and the Orders of ‘Franciscan’ Tertiaries 69
Alison More
6 Transcending the Order: The Pursuit of Observance and Religious
Identity Formation in the Low Countries, c. 1450–1500 86
Anna Dlabačova
7 Selections in a World of Multiple Options: The Witness of Thomas
Swalwell, osb 110
Anne T. Thayer
8 ‘The Prayer Booklet of Eternal Wisdom’ (Der ewigen wiszheit
Betbüchlin, 1518): Catechistic Shaping of Religious Lay Identity 126
Martina Wehrli-Johns
9 The Vineyard of Saint Francis 152
Koen Goudriaan
10 The Name of God, the Name of Saints, the Name of the Order:
Reflections on the ‘Franciscan’ Identity during the Observant
Period 172
Ludovic Viallet
11 The American Inquisition and the Arabic Language: A Short Note
about the Invention of the Moriscos in the Sixteenth Century 191
Alessandro Vanoli
12 Grids for Confessing Sins: Notes on Instruments for Pastoral Care in
Late Medieval Milan 201
Fabrizio Conti
13 Capuchin Reform, Religious Dissent and Political Issues in Bernardino
Ochino’s Preaching in and towards Italy (1535–1545) 214
Michele Camaioni
14 How to Write a Conversionary Sermon: Rhetorical Influences and
Religious Identity 235
Emily Michelson
Index of Names 253
Index of Places and Subjects 256
List of Illustrations
Intellectual historians, cultural historians and scholars of late medieval and early modern religion.