Introduction, Translation and Notes by Robert J. Karris
Peter of John Olivi’s “Reading of St. Luke’s Gospel” will give us an opportunity to spend hours in Peter of John Olivi’s exegetical workshop. We will find him creative, engaging, frustrating, critical, at times rhapsodic, especially about Mary, inspiring, puzzling, and occasionally tedious. He knew tradition, but readers will find very few references to the Glossa ordinaria as Peter of John Olivi went his own exegetical way. I doubt that anyone in the last part of the thirteenth century wrote a richer or more non-traditional commentary on Luke. In his exposition, readers have in their hands a marvelous resource for ascertaining the mind of Luke and the interpretive world of the Franciscan,
Peter of John Olivi.
After his death, he was venerated. David Burr observes: “After Olivi’s death in 1298 . . . his tomb at Narbonne became such a popular pilgrimage site that by the second decade of the fourteenth century the crowds were said to rival those at the Porziuncula in Assisi.” These crowds must have found something in Peter of John Olivi’s life and teaching that radiated holiness and honored him with the same reverence they gave St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order.
This volume completes Karris’ translations of the works of Peter of John Olivi, all published by Franciscan Institute Publications. In 2011 he published Olivi’s Commentary on the Gospel of Mark. In 2012 Spiritual Warfare and Six Other Spiritual Writings of Peter of John Olivi saw the light of day. Peter of John Olivi’s Commentary on Luke’s Gospel: Thirty Days of Reflection and Prayer appeared in 2013. Karris published in 2014 Peter of John Olivi’s Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles: Thirty Days of Reflections and Prayer. Professor Emeritus of St. Bonaventure University, Karris now resides at St. Peter’s Friary in Downtown Chicago where he continues his research and writing. Most weekends he’s on the road preaching for Food for the Poor.
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