This long awaited work presents a critical edition of seventeen early texts ranging from ca. 1250 to 1400 in which the Carmelites attempted to justify and define their charism in the face of the Skepticism and opposition they encountered on their arrival in Western Europe. They were called upon to defend the Order's descent from the prophet Elijah, its Marian title, and its approval by the Holy See.
Of early Carmelite writings only texts of historical interest have been selected, from the earliest to the Intuitio primorum monachorum exclusive. Besides providing an introduction and critical text for each document, the editor has established for the first time the chronological order and dependency and in some cases the authorship of these primitive sources. This work is an indispensable resource for the study of the history and spirit of the Carmelite Order.