About the book
This third edition of Clare of Assisi: Early Documents offers evidence of a greater sophistication in interpreting and presenting the texts emerging from a new wave of scholarship. Unlike the earlier editions, the writings of Clare appear in two separate sections: the first, entitled “May You Live Blessed Poverty,” presents Clare’s letters to Agnes of Prague, her Testament, and her Blessing; the second, “Together with My Sisters,” brings together the earlier documents of Pope Honorius III, Cardinal Hugolino, later Pope Gregory IX, and Pope Innocent IV that affected and eventually culminated in Clare’s Form of Life. The editor and his collaborators hope that, in this way, the depth of Clare’s Gospel spirituality will underscore her struggle to articulate her vision of the daily life of her sisters. The third section of this edition of Clare of Assisi: Early Documents presents another dimension of the scholarly work done on these texts. Entitled “The Brilliance of Her Life,” the critical apparatus accompanying the hagiographical texts affords the reader and the student of Clare’s life more user-friendly cross-references.
Clare of Assisi: Early Documents provides new translations of Clare's writings and related primary sources, revised and new introductions from earlier editions, as well as previously unpublished documents to chronicle the life of Saint Clare.
If Francis was the external manifestation of a new Gospel spirituality, Clare was its perfect internal manifestation. She lived secretly what he lived openly. Now some of the secrets are being revealed in this wonderful collection. What a gift to history!
This volume takes a big step toward making Clare and her story accessible to a wide audience. General readers and those meeting Clare for the first time will be able to see her story unfold in its chronological sequence beginning with the voice of Clare in her writings. Poor Clares will want this volume especially for its revised translations of Clare's Letters and Form of Life.