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Title: Forming medieval dominicans : the reappropriation of Augustine's rule in Humbert of Romans' Expositio regulae beati Augustini
Author: Schnakenberg, John
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 4330
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis closely examines an understudied but widely-circulated medieval work known as the Expositio regulae beati Augustini (Commentary on the Rule of Augustine) composed by Humbert of Romans (c. 1200–77), the fifth Master of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans). More specifically, it considers the historical context and controversy that prompted Humbert to write the Expositio, its relationship to the internal and external challenges facing the friars, and the extent to which Humbert consciously reinterpreted Augustine’s Rule in order to shape the behaviour and institutional culture of the friars during a crucial stage in the consolidation of the Order’s self-understanding and collective identity. While the Expositio has typically been interpreted as an apologia in defence of the Rule’s merits, its role as a tool of socialisation aimed at creating a corporate culture and inculcating a sense of distinctiveness has not yet been thoroughly explored. Building upon the work of other scholars, this thesis provides an extended examination of the Expositio, scrutinising the Expositio not only in light of its immediate context but also as part of the long reception history of Augustine’s Rule in the Middle Ages. Along with seeking to better understand Humbert’s goals in authoring the text, the contents of the Expositio are also examined with different questions than have typically been asked, probing their role in shaping the social behaviour, discipline, and self-policing of the friars. Finally, consideration is given to its historical impact, which appears to have been greatest long after Humbert’s death, during the ‘observant movement’ of the late-fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Evidence also suggests that the Expositio was widely read outside the Dominican Order during this period, shedding further light on the reception history of Augustine’s Rule.
Supervisor: Smith, Lesley Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mendicant orders ; Medieval history ; Augustine of Hippo ; Middle Ages ; Humbert of Romans ; Order of Preachers ; Dominican friars ; Commentary on the Rule of Augustine