History Matters series continues! Join us at 3:00 pm, Thursday, April 24
St. Francis of Assisi in American Spirituality
For contemporary Americans, St. Francis of Assisi is the most familiar of saints other than, perhaps, the Virgin Mary. He is as beloved among Protestants as among Catholics, and his image appears outside religous settings in such places as garden centers and movies. How did a medieval Catholic saint become so familiar in Protestantism and popular culture? And what does it mean that he did? We will look at Protestants' rediscovery of Francis in the nineteenth century and at some of the many ways he has been interpreted, visualized, and imagined.
Patricia Appelbaum is a leading scholar of Christian pacifism and the author of Kingdom to Commune: Protestant Pacifist Culture Between World War I and the Vietnam Era. She will talk about her current work on Saint Francis and his evolution from Catholic saint to animal lover and hippie icon, the star of "Brother Sun and Sister Moon".