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St. Francis of AmericaHow a Thirteenth-Century Friar Became America's Most Popular Saint$
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Patricia Appelbaum

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469623740

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469623740.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
St. Francis of America

Patricia Appelbaum

University of North Carolina Press

The introduction begins by describing Francis's popularity, the many different images of him, and the ways interpretations have changed over time. It then lays out the two main arguments of the book--that interpretations of Francis are historically and culturally conditioned, and that they often, paradoxically, represent alternatives to the conditions that form them. Noting that the book is not primarily about spirituality, the introduction encourages spiritually-minded readers to broaden and deepen their knowledge. It introduces the broad themes of sainthood, place, and the uses of history. After a brief description of terminology and sources, it summarizes the life and legend of Francis and outlines the chapters to come.

Keywords:   Non-Catholics, social construction, alternative, sainthood, place, uses of history, history and memory, spirituality, Francis of Assisi

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