Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

From the late 14th century, reforming groups or tendencies within monasticism (III, 4.b), especially in the mendicant orders and most especially among the Franciscans, were called observants (observantes, fratres de observantia etc.). In internal debates about the right way of life, they opposed easing of the rule and other kinds of adaptation that had crept in (Conventuals), and advocated strict following of the rules as rigorously interpreted, together with other prescriptions (observantia regularis etc., Observance). In this, restoration of the vita commu…

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Köpf, Ulrich, “Observants”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 05 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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