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Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel of Life Paperback – May 11, 2004
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"Lawrence S. Cunningham's small study of St. Francis demonstrates the value of sound critical judgment and solid theology for grounding healthy devotion to the saints and deepening the faith in the Christian realities to which they dedicated themselves. . . Cunningham's solid historical scholarship is omnipresent, although it is so smoothly and thoroughly integrated that the work is in no way pedantic, nor is there any trace of jargon or obfuscation."
"An engaging and informative contribution to the vast literature on the man commonly described as, next to the Virgin Mother, the most popular of saints. Among the merits of this little book is Cunningham's guide to that literature and his description of the frequently conflicting reasons through history for the celebration of Francis."
"A stimulating account of one of the most attractive figures in the history of Christendom. . . This study is one of the best and most perceptive portraits of the saint in recent years."
"Lawrence Cunningham's years of reflection on the sources of and about St. Francis of Assisi open new doors for understanding his spiritual significance. This book approaches Francis in the context of the Catholic reform tradition that he inherited and embraced. Cunningham demonstrates that this tradition is key to understanding Francis's originality — a trait that continues to affirm Christian identity and provokes all toward the solidarity that God intended."
"Among the scores of books devoted to Francis of Assisi, Lawrence Cunningham's stands out for its balance and insight. This beautifully written volume argues for a view of Francis as a spiritual classic, a devoted follower of Christ whose greatest joy was performing the gospel through a life of voluntary poverty and service to the poor. Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel is a gem. "
"This beautifully produced and beautifully written book by a well-known scholar and frequent write on Franciscan spirituality argues against the entirely too familiar sentimental image of Francis that is coterminous with what the author calls 'spirituality lite'? a spirituality disengaged from religion that comforts its practitioners rather than challenging them."
From the Back Cover
Pursuing a realistic view of the saint, Cunningham argues against common stereotypes that sentimentalize Francis as a bblesser of animals, b as a bchurch rebel, b or as a precursor of the bspiritualityb movement. According to Cunningham, really seeing Francis requires the lens of theology rather than the lens of quaint spirituality so often used. Francis was a devotedly orthodox Catholic whose life must be understood as a response to reforming elements abroad in the church of his day. Francisbs originality derived from his success in articulating the bideal gospel lifeb: his message and actions were a kind of bacting outb of the scriptures.
Imbued with peerless scholarship, this book is also charmingly written. Cunningham is a master storyteller as well as a brilliant biographer -- qualities that his "Francis of Assisi" fully displays. It will at once inform and delight anyone interested in the fascinating life of Francis or his impact on church history.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is part theology, part history, part sociology. It is an easy and thought provoking read, although the teminology Cunningham uses is sometimes theological and obscure to those without some basis is Christianity.
I highly recommend this book.
A good introduction to St. Francis.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book gives a very true picture of St. Francis and his times. It shows how Francis was a man dedicated to following the Gospel at all times.Published 9 months ago by Gloria Haider
I thought it was fairly easy to read and gave a good picture of Francis's life. I liked the topics they expanded upon.Published 22 months ago by joanne Babin
Having read many books on St. Francis over the last 40 some years, Lawrence Cunningham does a superb job in presenting a concise life of Francis. Read morePublished on October 23, 2011 by James M. Reiter