Jordan of Giano’s Evangelical Vision: The Battle over the Franciscan Order in the Thirteenth Century Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Powell, Jon
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • My dissertation, “Jordan of Giano’s Evangelical Vision: The Battle over the Franciscan Order in the Thirteenth Century,” explores the relationship between memory and narrative as found in Jordan of Giano’s (c. 1185–c. 1262) Chronica (1262). While the primary theme that this dissertation explores is the nature of Franciscan mission, that topic is considered in connection with the subjects of martyrdom, clericalization, education, simplicity, hierarchy, language, and the role of the cardinal protector. More to the point, this dissertation investigates the manner in which Jordan drew on Franciscan collective memory and his own personal memories of events pertaining to mission in order to discuss these themes as points of contention with respect to expressions of Franciscan identity. It is Jordan’s process of creating a new or a reinterpreted narrative that provides us with the most apparent insights into how friars as individuals and as groups remembered events and how they shaped those memories for the purpose of creating a group identity for the Friars Minor. My dissertation aims to revise the extant historiography in two main areas: First, in contrast to the prevailing methodological approach to the text—which views Jordan’s Chronica as a source of fairly factual information that can be employed to answer the Franciscan Question, or the attempt to compile a biography of the historical Francis of Assisi (1181/1182–1226) and to ascertain his ideal intentions for the Order —this study emphasizes how Jordan relied primarily on personal and collective memory to compose the Chronica and how this reliance affected the resulting narrative. Second, instead of viewing the Chronica as merely recounting the primary events that occurred in relation to the Franciscan mission to Germany in 1221, this dissertation suggests that Jordan uses his narrative to express a clerical identity for the order, one that runs counter to an identity of simplicity that was expressed in Franciscan legenda composed in Italy during the early to mid thirteenth century. This dissertation argues that, in addition, we should read the sources in terms of the authors’ evolving understanding of the Order, how narrative construction affects the expression of that understanding, and to the extent to which this construction differs depending on the memories availably to the author as well as the author’s intent in constructing a particular narrative.
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  • In Copyright
  • Marienberg, Evyatar
  • Cassen, Flora
  • McIntosh, Terence
  • Bull, Marcus
  • Malegam, Jehangir
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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