Identity Formation in the Foundational Documents of the Religious Orders (1050-1300) – Krijn Pansters

Monday, April 28th, 16:00, Faculty of Theology, Oude Boteringestraat 38, room 130.


The Stigmatisation of St. Francis

The Stigmatisation of St. Francis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This paper, dealing with the birth process of the New religious Orders of the long twelfth century, focuses on two key issues:
1. The translation of the main spiritual principles “from intuition to institution”. By studying the primary documents of the main Orders such as the Cistercians, Carthusians and Franciscans from a comparative perspective, the paper aims to demonstrate their fruitful application of spiritual principles within authoritative structures, and their fruitful transformation of spiritual ideas into rational structures and organizational practices.
2. The constitution of identity in this process. The Order’s identity is directly related to the development of the spiritual, constitutional, and social program of a religious group. This program, which was based on a spiritual Leitidee, defined the community’s identity in terms of the moral and social qualities that members should nurture and aim to realize – individually and collectively.


Dr Pansters works in the Franciscan Study Centre in the School of Theology of Tilburg University. He is the author of Franciscan Virtue. Spiritual Growth and the Virtues in Franciscan Literature and Instruction of the Thirteenth Century (Brill, 2012). He is currently writing Spiritual Morality. The Religious Orders and the Virtues in Medieval Europe, 1050-1300 (Brill).


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