The Politics of Poverty: A Contribution to a Franciscan Political Theology

Date
2015
Authors
Hamilton, Brian David
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Abstract
This essay reconstructs the medieval practice of evangelical poverty as a resource for contemporary political theology. Francis of Assisi and his predecessors committed themselves to a form of voluntary poverty that directly contested the distribution of social power in twelfth-century Europe. Evangelical poverty was for them a critical and liberating practice. Yet they disagreed about how this practice was related to standing norms of ecclesial authority. Francis broke with the earlier movements by defining evangelical poverty as a posture of humility and obedience rather than as a counterclaim on apostolic authority. These movements are worth retrieving both for their shared commitment to a liberating poverty and for the questions they raise about the relationship between poverty and authority.
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Keywords
Poverty (Virtue), Franciscans, Christianity and politics -- History, Francis , of Assisi, Saint , 1182-1226
Citation
Hamilton, B. (2015). The Politics of Poverty: A Contribution to a Franciscan Political Theology. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 35(1), 29-44. doi:10.1353/sce.2015.0000.
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