Joachim of Fiore proclaimed a philosophy of history which exercised a powerful influence in succeeding centuries. This book traces the influence of his prophecies concerning a "Third Age of the Spirit" to come, as later expressed in the themes of "New Spiritual Men", "Last World Emperor", "Angelic Pope", and "Renovatio Mundi". It shows that these ideas were not only the mainspring of various heterodox groups, but also engaged the attention of certain church leaders, university scholars, Renaissance thinkers, Protestant theologians, and political rulers down to the seventeenth century.
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Marjorie Reeves is a former Vice-Principal and Fellow of St. Anne's College, Oxford. She has authored and coauthored several volumes on Joachimism, including The figure of Joachim of Fiore and Joachim of Fiore and the Prophetic Future.Review:
"In a work of encyclopedic proportions, the fruit of thirty years of study and research, Reeves presents a survey of Joachimism from the early thirteenth century down to Renaissance and Reformation times, to the day when intelligent and educated men ceased to take prophecy seriously. . . . One would be hard put to pinpoint any important 'prophet,' writer, or interpreter of history within the five centuries studied who has been overlooked or slighted." -- The Catholic Historical Review
"Reeve's book is an impressive demonstration of her mastery of an enormous subject: nothing less than the content, spread, and transformations of Joachim of Flora's ideas during five centuries. No longer can anyone relegate Joachim's influence to the realm of esoteric. Reeves shows that he shaped the views not only of heretics and Franciscan Spirituals, but also of solid middle-of-the-road friars: Fransican, Dominican, and Augustinian . . . and even of Jesuits and Protestants. . . . [N]o student of Joachism will in future be able to neglect Reeve's work: it is now an essential starting point for research about Joachim and his followers." --Speculum
"Reeves must be congratulated on her exploration of a complicated and difficult subject. Her book sheds light on a great many aspects of medieval and early modern history." --The English Historical Review
"In the present study . . . Reeves provides valuable insights and exhaustive research into the increasingly important, but highly controversial, figure of Joachim of Fiore (c. 1135-1202)." -- Sixteenth Century Journal
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