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You have seen that St. Francis, Dante, Michelangelo, Luther, and Kierkegaard were willing to challenge existing norms of their time. How was this helpful to them, and how is it now helpful to you, in considering the meaning of life? Do you see any potential problems with their approaches in terms of finding meaning?
St. Francis gave up his ties to his aristocratic family, and led the life of a poor begar. There are people who find pleasure in giving up things, and there are people who find pleasure in gaining material possessions. Francis, however, also was very charismatic, and he started a religious order. In a way, it is not like he was a homeless person; he built up a different aristocracy. It was an aristocracy of humility. The church was corrupt at the time Francis lived. The potential problem for Francis is how to negotiate his new power. It needed a reformer.
Dante was a rebellious poet....
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