Professor R.W. Carstens was born on May 27, 1947 in Davenport, Iowa, the second of ten children of Gene W. and June Carstens. He attended St. Ambrose College, receiving his B.A. in 1969 cumlaude with majors in political science and philosophy and a minor in history. After two years in the Army, he was honorably discharged in 1971 with the rank of E-5 (sergeant) and a citation for distinguished service. From 1971-1974, Dr. Carstens studied at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio,receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science and political philosophy. His dissertation was entitled "The Notion of Obligation in the Political Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas."
Why St.Francis Of Assissi Still Matters
The book uses the legenda of St. Francis as a means of locating an important message for our time. St. Francis seems to have seen that the change in the thirteenth-century meaning of property and poverty would inevitably lead to the devaluation of Christian personhood. To make that argument I treat the problem of St. Francis and its historical context, outline the change in the meaning of property and poverty during his time, and use the art of the upper basilica at Assisi to reflect on the message left to us through his legenda.
The book is designed to ask questions such as: Can it be that St.Francis foresaw the effects individualism and the corporation would have for the Christian way of living when they are cut from the moral law? Can it be that his example, in addition to being a comment on his own times, was a sign of warning for ours? Is it possible that, in an age where the primacy of prayer was quietly being replaced by the primacy of money, Francis could foresee some of the dilemmas of the twenty-first century?
Francis' particular vocation was to help Christians see the value of this world in its relationship to the value of the human being,therefore to God. Thus it would seem Francis' embrace of nature for itself and his extraordinary asceticism teach us to understand ourselves and our world more clearly. Here his commitment to radical poverty serves to witness the true value of things. n
Why St. Francis of Assisi Still Matters by R W Carstens was published by Dog Ear Publishing, LLC in November 2011 and is our 59450th best seller. The ISBN for Why St. Francis of Assisi Still Matters is 9781457506550.