The privilege of poverty: Clare of Assisi, Agnes of Prague, and the struggle for a Franciscan rule for women

Book Cover
Average Rating
Pennsylvania State University Press,
Pub. Date:

Early in the thirteenth century a young woman named Clare was so moved by the teachings of Francis of Assisi that she renounced her possessions, vowing to live a life of radical poverty. Today Clare is remembered for her relationship with Francis, but her own dedication to poverty and her struggle to gain papal approval for a Franciscan Rule for women is a fascinating story that has not received the attention it deserves. InThe Privilege of Poverty, Joan Mueller tells this story, and in so doing she reshapes our understanding of early Franciscan history.

Clare knew, as did Francis, that she needed a Rule to preserve the “privilege of poverty”—a papal exemption that gave monasteries of women permission not to rely on endowment income. Early Franciscan women gave their dowries to the poor and were as passionately holy and shrewdly political in this choice as were their male counterparts. Mueller shows the crucial role played in this by Agnes of Prague, one of Clare’s closest collaborators. A Bohemian princess who declined an engagement to Emperor Frederick II in order to found a monastery of Poor Ladies in Prague, Agnes capitalized on the papal need for a political alliance with the kingdom of Bohemia to negotiate the privilege of poverty for her monastery and set up a hospital for the poor in Prague.

The efforts of Clare and Agnes ultimately paid off, as Pope Innocent IV approved a Franciscan Rule for women with the privilege of poverty at its core on Clare’s deathbed in 1253. Only two years later, Clare was canonized, and the Poor Clares—as they came to be known—continue today as contemplative and active communities devoted to the same ideals that inspired Francis and Clare.

The Privilege of Poverty not only contributes new insight into Franciscan history but also redefines it. No longer can we view early Franciscanism as primarily a male story. Franciscan women were courted by their brothers and by the papacy for their essential contributions to the early Franciscan movement.

More Details
Also in This Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 6154e8b3-b4f0-2340-a5da-d8599093e471
Grouping Title privilege of poverty clare of assisi agnes of prague and the struggle for a franciscan rule for wome
Grouping Author mueller joan
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-08-06 04:40:45AM
Last Indexed 2018-09-20 04:53:02AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Mueller, Joan, 1956-
author2-role NetLibrary, Inc.
author_display Mueller, Joan
detailed_location_arlington EBSCOhost
format_arlington eBook
format_category_arlington eBook
id 6154e8b3-b4f0-2340-a5da-d8599093e471
isbn 9780271030425
item_details external_econtent:ils:.b12952953||EBSCOhost|Online|eBook|eBook|1|false|true|EBSCOhost||||Available Online||q||
itype_arlington eCollection
last_indexed 2018-09-20T08:53:02.672Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Other
literary_form_full Other
local_callnumber_arlington Online
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library Online, Aurora Hills Online, Central Online, Cherrydale Online, Columbia Pike Online, Connection Crystal City Online, Detention Center Online, Glencarlyn Online, Local History Online, Plaza Online, Shirlington Online, Westover Online
primary_isbn 9780271030425
publishDate 2006
record_details external_econtent:ils:.b12952953|eBook|eBook||English|Pennsylvania State University Press,|[2006]|x, 182 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
external_econtent:ils:.b12952953 Available Online Available Online false true false false false true
title_display The privilege of poverty : Clare of Assisi, Agnes of Prague, and the struggle for a Franciscan rule for women
title_full The privilege of poverty : Clare of Assisi, Agnes of Prague, and the struggle for a Franciscan rule for women / Joan Mueller
title_short The privilege of poverty :
title_sub Clare of Assisi, Agnes of Prague, and the struggle for a Franciscan rule for women