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Ovozemaljska dobra u Marulićevu teološkom obzoru

Split Literary Circle - Marulianum, centre for Studies on Marko Marulić and his Humanist Circle
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  • Economics
  • Education


An investigation of Marulić’s attitude to secular values, or to poverty, is important for consideration of the question of whether Marulić was a Renaissance or a medieval poet and thinker, and for a provision of the answer. His plea for ascetic ideals (poverty, self-denial, restraint, humility) was built on the scriptural and patristic traditions and is another aspect of the effort to live a virtuous and meritorious life. Hark-ing back to Augustine’s teaching, according to which the natural place of man is God, man living in a state of perpetual unease until he finds peace in Him, Marulić constructed a doctrine of poverty in which all goods were subordinated to the highest to the Good. Poverty is actually not idealised, not presented as a value in itself, but is a condition of freedom and adherence to Christ who, poor and meek, is the central paradigm of the Christian way of life. Marulić does not stigmatise wealth as an evil, except insofar as it is a barrier to virtuous living, a barrier between Christ and the Christian. The corollary is that unwilling poverty, the mere fruit of social injustice and exploitation, contains no kind of moral merit. The poverty Marulić talks of its primarily of a spiritual nature, the internal stance of freedom and of not being bound to material goods. Nevertheless, Marulić is not insensitive to the concrete social and economic situation, and he uses sharp words to reprimand the rich and encourage them to effective compassion with the poor, while he encourages the poor by drawing their attention to the greater values of what does not pass away, of the eternal life, in the perspective of which Marulić observes the whole of mans brief life in this world. His thought is permeated with general and universal principles, allowing Marulić to transcend the borders of his period, so that he can be said to be not only Renaissance but also contemporary.

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