Joachim of Fiore and Monastic Reform

Joachim of Fiore and Monastic Reform

Joachim of Fiore and Monastic Reform

Joachim of Fiore and Monastic Reform

Excerpt

Central to abbot Joachim of Fiore's life (c. 1130-1202) was the monastic religio. In his writing about the future, Joachim made monasticism the keystone of his grandiose structure. A great deal has already been published about Joachim's view of history, his effect on heretical groups in the later middle ages, his much- debated orthodoxy, and his relationship to earlier medieval thinkers. This book will examine Joachim's founding the Florensian order, the role of these monks in conserving Joachim's vision of the last age of the world, the third status, and the effect their role had on other religious groups.

Justification for this study can be found in the articles of two well-known chroniclers of Joachite literature: Bernard McGinn and Morton Bloomfield. Explaining the prominence of monasticism for Joachim, McGinn stressed, "What is important to realize is that for the abbot of Fiore the Church was to be thoroughly monasticized in the coming status." With this in mind, it would seem that Joachim's own monastic order would claim the attention of many historians. And yet, Morton Bloomfield in his last survey (1980) of the literature about Joachim concluded "that no one really knows what was being taught and thought in early Florensian circles. In fact not much is known of the inner life and history of the order at any time...."

My study of Joachim of Fiore and the Florensian order will draw heavily, in true Joachimist fashion, from three key texts: Joachim of Fiore Tractatus de vita S. Benedicti et de officio divino secundum eius doctrinam, an anonymous Florensian Life of Joachim of Fiore, and an anonymous Commentary on Jeremiah (Super Hieremiam). The first work, Joachim's tract on the life of St.

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