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Franciscans and Preaching

Every Miracle from the Beginning of the World Came about through Words

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Edited by Timothy Johnson

Francis of Assisi, whose Gospel performance captured the imagination of his day, fostered a movement of men and women who were fascinated by the transformative power of the embodied Word. Learned or unlettered, theologian or penitent, their shared conviction took form in various gestures, languages, and literary genres. For their part, medieval artisans and craftsmen reflected this Franciscan predilection to preach in architecture, frescoes, and reliquaries. In Franciscans and Preaching, scholars from Europe and North Amercia offer the first extensive English language study of medieval Franciscan preaching.
Contributors are C. Colt Anderson, Joshua C. Benson, Michael W. Blastic, Jay M. Hammond, J.A. Wayne Hellmann, Timothy J. Johnson, Beverly M. Kienzle, Francesco Lucchini, Steven J. McMichael, Alison More, Stephen Mossman, Patrick Nold, Darleen Pryds, Amanda Quantz, Bert Roest, Michael Robson, Francisco Javier Rojo Alique, and Nicholas W. Youmans.
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Timothy Johnson

Abstract

This article proposes a solution for identifying two problematic antecedents in two separate verses of the Hebrew Bible. I suggest that these antecedents are implied nouns instead of specific nouns standing in the text. The first example of this occurs in Job lx 2b where the third person singular feminine suffix refers to an implied noun that is associated with a nearby participle. The second more controversial example is found in Prov. iii 6a. Here the LXX, whose antecedent is an implied noun, serves as the necessary guide for opening the way to understanding the MT, where another implied noun is used. In each verse, clarity of interpretation is gained, with the latter analysis resulting in a more severe break from traditional views.

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Timothy Johnson

Medieval Franciscans prayed in hermitages and churches, on the road and in the piazza, with song and silence. The unique stories of these men and women, as their engaging texts, stunning architecture and breath-taking artwork suggest, are narratives of souls, enfleshed in their respective worlds of the leprosarium, university, or itinerant preaching. The essays in this book foster a nuanced perspective on Franciscan beliefs and spiritual practices by resisting the temptation to reduce their myriad accounts of prayer to an exclusive, univocal spirituality. By displaying the breadth and depth of these medieval Franciscans at prayer, these essays challenge contemporary readers to look anew at this “cloud of witnesses” from the past, who, both lay and religious, promoted a diversity of spiritual expression that found a familial focus in their mutual passion for the divine and the world they shared.
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Timothy J. Johnson

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Timothy J. Johnson