The architecture of the mendicant orders in the middle ages: An overview of recent literature
Mendicant architecture represented a new approach to sacred space, one that was intimately tied to an economic structure based on donations and offerings from patrons. A number of important recent studies on specific sites and geographical areas provide evidence of the extent to which mendicant building practice transformed the spaces for encounters between clergy and the laity. As their critics noted, however, friars also engaged in aggressive public "outreach," which included outdoor preaching and visiting the homes of the faithful. A survey of recent literature suggests that the analysis of mendicant architecture might usefully expand into a consideration of the roles of the friars in the public spaces of cities and in the privacy the home.