Francis of Assisi is one of the most influential personalities in the entire world. In the book ‘Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life,’ Cunningham recounts the life of this humble monk who lived in the medieval times, and shaped the Christian life, which spread in Western culture throughout the rest of history. I believe Cunningham accurately accounts for the life of Francis of Assisi, and in doing so; he provides a trajectory of the Christian faith from its early and historical proponents through its fusion with western culture, and its subsequent spread throughout the world.
The main character of the book is Francis Assisi, and Cunningham provides a vivid account of his life and ideals in the world. Francis of Assisi was a devout Catholic, who believed in its orthodoxy and attempted to reform its elements by spreading and living a model gospel life. However, Francis of Assisi was not the only character in Cunningham’s book, though it revolves around him. Other characters with considerable influence included Bernard from Quintavalle, who was the child of a wealthy family. The priest Sylvester also accompanied Assisi on his way of life. Finally, Peter, Giles, and Phillip were also Assisi’s companions when he set on a journey throughout the world to spread the new gospel.
Religion is the main theme of the book. Francis of Assisi was an orthodox Catholic, and though some Christians argued he was a rebel because he deviated from Catholic teachings to offer his subjective view of the model gospel life, he strived to spread religion. It differentiates Cunningham’s book from other biographies. His book is not only a history of biography, but both theology and biography. Cunningham’s book serves various purpose...
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...ad of Assisi’s teaching in the 12th century.
I liked the manner Cunningham offers a critique of the Catholic Church. It is because by exploring the life of Assisi, he exposes elements that supported the ancient Church, and how Francis of Assisi managed to erode these fundamental elements contributing to the crumble of the church. This book challenged me because it offered a comprehensive account of the changes the church has undergone throughout time, and an insight into the multiple Christian denominations existing today. However, I failed to understand why many authors criticize the life and teachings of Francis because I believe he followed the life and practices of Christ. In conclusion, I agree with Cunningham, Francis of Assisi offered teachings and life shaped and reinforced the need for reforms in the Church allowing the spread of Christianity in the World.
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