Chapter

St. Francis and Jesus

Kenneth Baxter Wolf

in The Poverty of Riches

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195158083
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834877 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195158083.003.0006

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

 St. Francis and Jesus

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Francis's decision to live a life of poverty was inspired by his sense of the perfect poverty of Jesus. On the basis of his understanding of the New Testament themes, Francis seems to have focused his attention on Paul's idea that the Incarnation itself was the quintessential form of voluntary poverty, because Jesus gave up the “riches” of heaven to assume the life of a mere man, and a poor man at that. Francis's own imitatio Christi was designed, therefore, first and foremost, as an imitation of the Incarnation. This connection seems to have contributed to Francis's decision to prioritize imitating Jesus's “poverty” over alleviating the poverty of the ordinary poor.

Keywords: imitatio Christi; Incarnation; Jesus; New Testament; Paul; voluntary poverty

Chapter.  4655 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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