Book Series Europa Sacra, vol. 19

Mendicant Cultures in the Medieval and Early Modern World

Word, Deed, and Image

Sally J. Cornelison, Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby, Peter F. Howard (eds)

  • Pages: xviii + 322 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:45 b/w, 1 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2016

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55554-6
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56201-8
  • E-book
  • Available

Interdisciplinary in scope, the essays in this book explore the dynamic and shifting relationships between texts, art, architecture, sermons, history, ritual, space, and place as they pertain to the Dominican and Franciscan religious orders from the later Middle Ages through the early modern period (c. 1200-1700).


“On the whole this is a strong collection of articles with many important insights to offer on the character and influence of the Franciscan and Dominican traditions. (…) That said, Mendicant Cultures illustrates very well the diverse nature and high quality of recent scholarship on the mendicant orders.” (Megan C. Armstrong, in Renaissance Quarterly, 70/3, 2017, p. 1155)

“(…) this is an extremely valuable contribution to the world of medieval mendicant studies and medieval spirituality.” (Steven J. McMichael, in Catholic Historical Review, 103/4, 2017, p. 801)

“This superb collection is further proof, if any were needed, that we are living in exciting times for the study of mendicant orders in the medieval and early modern era.” (Linda Burke, in The Medieval Review, 2018.05.011)


The eleven interdisciplinary essays that comprise this book complement and expand upon a significant body of literature on the history of the Franciscan and Dominican orders during the later Middle Ages and the early modern period. They elucidate and examine the ways in which mendicant friars established, sustained, and transformed their institutional identities and shaped the devotional experiences of the faithful to whom they ministered via verbal and visual culture. Taking primary texts and images as their point of departure, these essays break new scholarly ground by revising previous assumptions regarding mendicant life and actions and analysing sites, works of art, and texts that either have been neglected in the existing literature or that have not been examined through the lens of current methodologies such as sermon studies, ritual, gender, and cross-cultural interactions. Indeed, the varied methods and subjects of these essays demonstrate there is still much to be learned about the mendicant orders and the ways and spaces in which they operated and presented themselves on the local, regional, and global stages.


Introduction – SALLY J. CORNELISON

Part I. Words, Sermons, & Stained Glass: Building the Mendicant Canon

Of Bees & Brethren: The Making of an Order of Preachers – ANNE HOLLOWAY

The Franciscans & Stained Glass in Tuscany & Umbria – NANCY THOMPSON

A Landscape of Preaching: Bartolomeo Lapacci Rimbertini OP – PETER HOWARD

A Voice from Savonarolan Florence: Fra Succhielli & His Sermon Diary (1481-1512) – MELISSA MORETON

Part II. Word, Deeds, Images, & Mendicant Sanctity

Words, Deeds, & the Hagiography of Italian Women Penitents – Beverly Mayne Kienzle & Travis ALLEN STEVENS

A Painted Saint & Passion Relics: Taddeo Gaddi’s Reliquary Cupboard for Santa Croce in Florence – ASHLEY ELSTON

Sacred Signs: Genoese Portal Sculptures in the Dominican Church of Santa Maria di Castello – MADELINE RISLOW

Accessing the Holy: Words, Deeds, & the First Tomb of St Antoninus in Renaissance Florence – SALLY J. CORNELISON

Part III. Words, Deeds, Images, & the Oltremare

Early Franciscan Missions to the Mongols: William of Rubruck’s Itinerarium ANTHONY J. WATSON

The Corner of Europe & the Fabric of the World: Pius II’s Bull & Sermon for the Canonization of Catherine of Siena – JOHN ZALESKI

Preaching, Saints, & Crusade Ideology in the Church of Ognissanti in Florence – NIRIT BEN-ARYEH DEBBY