Proto-spiritual (c. 1292-1295)

Who knows whether Arnau abandoned this previous project under the greater or lesser influence of the spiritualism of Pèire Joan (Oliu), and then laid the groundwork for a spiritualism that he would go on to further develop later. This stage also includes two works (no. 3 and 4). The underpinning of this early spiritualism was a first version of the “truth of Christianity”. Palpable reality, claimed Arnau in De prudentia, can be regarded from a triple vantage point: according to what it is itself (this is what natural philosophy does); according to the reasons for its entity, that is, in reference to its intelligible cause (metaphysics); and finally, as caused by their Prime Cause (believers). The “true believer” considers the physical reality only as the starting point of a spiritual journey towards God. Arnau’s spiritualism in this phase is “moderate”. From then on, Arnau became a “travelling companion” of the spiritual Franciscans: Pèire Joan, Angelo Clareno, Ubertino da Casale, Hug de Balma.

 

franciscans

Illustration: Franciscans.

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