Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live with a Franciscan focus.
(And one of these days I'll fix the template and add a Search feature. :-P)

07 November 2006

A review of ... a review! 

It's not every day that you read a book review that's prolly better than the book itself, but today's my lucky day. :-P I just read Vincent Ryan's writeup of The Poverty of Riches: St. Francis of Assisi Reconsidered, and appreciated his feedback on the author's "reappraisal of St. Francis of Assisi's relationship to the poor". (Ooooh, hey, does this qualify as a review of a review?) And I laughed out loud over Ryan's comment that,

"As [author] Wolf sees it, the Franciscan founder did little to raise people's opinions of the involuntary poor. ... To present Francis as merely using the poor and suffering as a way to refashion himself, is reducing all his activity to power relations. Somewhere Michel Foucault is applauding."

And his summary is totally spot-on:

"Franco Zeffirelli's [movie] Brother Sun, Sister Moon has been rightfully criticized over the years for presenting Francis as a hippie of the 1960s (with a Donovan soundtrack to boot) instead of as a medieval ascetic. In arguing for this radical reinterpretation of Franciscan poverty, Wolf too seems more concerned with refashioning Francis according to modern theories -- perhaps for the purposes of a new book. Unfortunately, like Zeffirelli's film, Wolf fails to assess and present the founder of the Franciscans within his own historical context."

Thank you, Mr. Ryan, for sparing me the headache of readin' this book. (And finally! Someone else who isn't a fan of Zeffirelli's craptastical movie!)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip; I'll have to go look this one up for myself!

08 November, 2006 05:08  

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