Laity as Co-Creators of the Franciscan Tradition
Presented by Darleen Pryds, PhD
Associate Professor of History and Christian Spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego
This lecture explores the role of laity in the creation and development of the tradition we call “Franciscan.” It’s well known that Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi did not “create” a new evangelical path out of nothing, but instead responded to their historical and societal context to forge a spiritual path that developed even beyond their aspirations. Along the way, laity—both those who remain anonymous and those who are named—inspired, supported, and furthered this path. Their role usually goes unnoticed altogether or gets segregated into specialized studies and chapters that marginalize their contributions as mere recipients of spiritual teachings. This lecture examines the contributions of laity especially through their lived experience of faith that are documented in a range of sources. The implications of these findings offer seeds for a spiritual path that nurtures and respects interdependence.