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St. Francis of Assisi and Nature


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Independent scholar (Ph.D. Cornell University)


"The author is well qualified for this study. Moreover, the book's scope is wide-ranging, and the style is very readable. Contains an exhaustive bibliography and an excellent index. Recommended for readers at all levels."--Choice "In view of the many treatments of this topic already available, one might well ask whether it is possible to say anything new or significant. In this study. R. Sorrell has done precisely that in a very convincing way."--Journal of Religion "Sorrell offers a valuable critical assessment of Francis' largely misunderstood attitude toward nature....His greatest service is to distinguish between the tradition and innovative elements in Francis' attitude toward creatures."--Theological Studies "Sorrell's book is the most authoritative study of Francis of Assisi and nature in any language. It is scholarly but not dry, interesting without being anecdotal, challenging but not pedantic....Sorrell's entire argument is coherent and convincing."--American Historical Review "With a magisterial authority the writer dissects the problems of the sources, searching for Francis' thought-world beneath the brevity of the pericopes of the Leo-sources and the learned reflections of Celano and Bonaventure. The reader...is carried on pleasurably from point to point through a labyrinth of quotations from originals and secondary sources, left, chapter by chapter, with the conviction that the author has attained balance and harmony in his conclusions, and that there will not need to be another investigation of this theme."--Journal of Theological Studies "Sorrell is a professional historian, who brings a fund of learning and insight and commonsense, as well as a strong commitment to an inspiring theme, to a well-worn path. The result is a fresh appraisal of the evidence....A helpful, thoughtful, sensitive study."--Journal of Ecclesiastical History "Sorrell's well-written study is one of the few scholarly attepts in Anglo-Saxon literature to clear up the misconceptions that exist on Francis's attitude toward the natural world and to provide an in-depth analysis of how his view of it was both traditional and innovative."--Church History "A very fine piece of scholarship, well written, argued with sophistication and control of materials. This book is a very valuable contribution to medieval studies in general and Franciscan studies in particular."--Lawrence Cunningham, Florida State University

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