Bernard of Clairvaux by G. R. Evans

By G. R. Evans

During this publication the well known medievalist G.R. Evans offers a concise advent to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), a determine of towering significance at the twelfth-century monastic and theological scene. After a quick evaluation of Bernard's lifestyles, Evans specializes in a couple of significant issues in his paintings, together with his theology of spirituality and his theology of the political lifetime of the Church. the single on hand advent to Bernard's lifestyles and inspiration, this most modern addition to the Great Medieval Thinkers sequence will entice a large viewers of scholars and students of historical past and theology.

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His career there came to an untimely end when he left it in 1151–52. We also know of secretarial assistance from Gérard de Péronne, Baldwin of Pisa, Raynaud de Foigny. It was usual in medieval letter-writing for the writer to send an oral message with his text, and indeed the main burden of the letter often lay in the verbal accompaniment. So messengers needed skills of a high order. 28 The surviving words of a letter may not be all authentically the letter as it left the mind of the author. 29 Increasingly, secretaries knew their job.

46 The theme of exile is closely linked to that of the desirable aspects of true pilgrimage in the mindset of Bernard’s day. It is a strong pastoral theme in contemporary preaching, that the life of man on earth is itself an exile, from which the task of a lifetime is to seek to return to the presence of God. 48 In one of the sermons on the Psalm Qui Habitat, he describes how a person walks the ways of mercy and truth, which are the Lord’s ways, the ways of life, and how he gains the fruit of his journey in salvation.

51 So travel and wandering are not always signs of being a lost soul. They may be the state of a soul, or souls in company, on the way back to God. 55 There is an echo here of the hermetic tradition,56 which passed into the Middle Ages chiefly in the form of the notion that man is placed between God and beast and grows more like whichever he imitates in his behaviour. William of St. Thierry has a sense of it too in his Exposition on the Song of Songs. He explains that no one can come to the enjoyment of God by contemplation unless he grows like him, and the degree of enjoyment will depend on the degree of likeness.

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