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Title: Petrarch's Humanist Writing and Carthusian Monasticism: The Secret Language of the Self
Author: Yocum, Demetrio S
Publisher: Brepols; Publication Date: 2013
Hardcover; ISBN: 9782503544199
Volumes: 1; Pages: 277 + illus
List Price in Cloth: $116.00 Our price: $92.99
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By shedding light on the role played by Carthusian spirituality and practices in Petrarch's life and work and following a common line of philosophical and theological development through his writings, this book argues that there still are lessons to be learned in both about the relationship between religion and literature, theology and spirituality.The fourteenth century saw an exponential rise in charterhouses across Europe. During this period of growth, the cloister walls protecting the silence and solitude of the relatively small and isolated semi-eremitical Carthusian houses became more porous, pliable, and open to the outer world. Although still considered at the forefront of Christian piety and asceticism, the Carthusians began to be more clearly identified with their newly acquired taste for the arts, literature, and architecture. Gradually, charterhouses became major humanist centres attracting sophisticated patrons, artists, and scholars.Of the long line of renowned anti-scholastic intellectuals who were attracted to Carthusian circles, Petrarch was undoubtedly the first. By revealing the Carthusian imprint on Petrarch's thought as well as elements of Carthusian spirituality present in his texts, this book argues that Carthusianism was an essential component of Petrarch's Christian humanism and hermeneutics of the self. An interdisciplinary approach, involving parallel readings of Petrarchan texts, early monastic and Carthusian primary sources, together with more recent theological reflections, offers new insights into the role of Carthusianism in the intellectual debate on spirituality and the position of the individual within this order. Through Petrarch and his literary works, the Carthusian milieu ultimately shaped not only Renaissance humanism but also our understanding of the relationship between 'self', God, and others.