Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Benet of Canfield and 17th Century Capuchin Mysticism
The 17th century was the “Golden Age” of the mysticism of the Capuchin branch of the Franciscan family, founded early in the 16th century. The Capuchins arrived in France in 1573 and soon became important in the French revival of Catholicism, not least in terms of mysticism. The key figure was the English convert, Benet of Canfield (1562-1610), who had to flee England after his conversion and lived in France for many years. Benet was central in the origins of French mysticism ca. 1600. His treatise, the Rule of Perfection, remains a classic of early modern Catholic mysticism. This talk will introduce Benet, his historical context, and the main lines of the Rule of Perfection. Presenter Biography: Bernard McGinn is the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and the History of Christianity at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, where he taught for 34 years before retiring in 2003. Over the last 20 years he has continued to write, teach, and lecture. He has written extensively on patristic and medieval theology, especially on spirituality and mysticism. His major work in these areas is The Presence of God. A History of Western Christian Mysticism, 9 vols. (1991-2021).
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