Francis: A Saint's Way

by James Cowan

Hardcover, 2001



Call number



Triumph Books (2001), Edition: 1st, 180 pages


This text relives some of St Francis's experiences and tries to understand the complexity of history's popular Saint.

User reviews

LibraryThing member TedWitham
James Cowan lived in Umbria for three years researching and writing A Saint’s Way. The resulting book is rich in a sense of place: the places haunted by Francis.
As an Australian, Cowan also brings to this book a sense of desert spirituality. Aborigines invest a place with sacred meaning to
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remember the spiritual experience that the place engendered. This sensibility works quite well as Cowan tries to read the deeper psychological experience of Francis from the places themselves.
James Cowan believes that the contribution of Francis was to develop an individual spirituality, and to forge the way for Western Christians (and others) to take responsibility for their own spiritual journeys. He traces the way that this individual inner experience can liberate a person from the hierarchy of the church.
“This strikes a chord with many of us today as we try to negotiate for ourselves a genuine inner life not necessarily sanctioned by one philosophy or religion.” (p. 170)
The strength of Francis: A Saint’s Way is Cowan’s willingness to enter deeply into the mindset of Francis and show afresh the insights that Francis achieved. In doing so, however, it reads a modernity back into Francis that is not justified. Francis was more a man of his time, and more a loyal son of the Church than Cowan describes.
What this reveals is how Francis appeals to so many people and that the richness of his life is not likely to be exhausted.
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Original language


Physical description

180 p.; 5.75 inches


0764807072 / 9780764807077
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