Description : This book examines the way Bernard of Clairvaux, in his writings, shapes the monastic existence as a subtle blend of biblical and liturgical texts and scenes on the one hand and uncontrollable events and emotions on the other.
Description : Bernard of Clairvaux emerges from these studies as a vibrant, challenging and illuminating representative of the monastic culture of the twelfth century. In taking on Peter Abelard and the new scholasticism he helped define the very world he opposed and thus contributed to the renaissance of the twelfth century.
Description : Devotion to the crucified Christ is one of the most familiar, yet most disconcerting artifacts of medieval European civilization. How and why did the images of the dying God-man and his grieving mother achieve such prominence, inspiring unparalleled religious creativity as well such imitative extremes as celibacy and self-flagellation? To answer this question, Rachel Fulton ranges over developments in liturgical performance, private prayer, doctrine, and art. She considers the fear occasioned by the disappointed hopes of medieval Christians convinced that the apocalypse would come soon, the revulsion of medieval Jews at being baptized in the name of God born from a woman, the reform of the Church in light of a new European money economy, the eroticism of the Marian exegesis of the Song of Songs, and much more. Devotion to the crucified Christ is one of the most familiar yet disconcerting artifacts of medieval European civilization. How and why did the images of the dying God-man and his grieving mother achieve such prominence, inspiring unparalleled religious creativity and emotional artistry even as they fostered such imitative extremes as celibacy, crusade, and self-flagellation? Magisterial in style and comprehensive in scope, From Judgment to Passion is the first systematic attempt to explain the origins and initial development of European devotion to Christ in his suffering humanity and Mary in her compassionate grief. Rachel Fulton examines liturgical performance, doctrine, private prayer, scriptural exegesis, and art in order to illuminate and explain the powerful desire shared by medieval women and men to identify with the crucified Christ and his mother. The book begins with the Carolingian campaign to convert the newly conquered pagan Saxons, in particular with the effort to explain for these new converts the mystery of the Eucharist, the miraculous presence of Christ's body at the Mass. Moving on to the early eleventh century, when Christ's failure to return on the millennium of his Passion (A.D. 1033) necessitated for believers a radical revision of Christian history, Fulton examines the novel liturgies and devotions that arose amid this apocalyptic disappointment. The book turns finally to the twelfth century when, in the wake of the capture of Jerusalem in the First Crusade, there occurred the full flowering of a new, more emotional sensibility of faith, epitomized by the eroticism of the Marian exegesis of the Song of Songs and by the artistic and architectural innovations we have come to think of as quintessentially high medieval. In addition to its concern with explaining devotional change, From Judgment to Passion presses a second, crucial question: How is it possible for modern historians to understand not only the social and cultural functions but also the experience of faith—the impulsive engagement with the emotions, sometimes ineffable, of prayer and devotion? The answer, magnificently exemplified throughout this book's narrative, lies in imaginative empathy, the same incorporation of self into story that lay at the heart of the medieval effort to identify with Christ and Mary in their love and pain.
Description : After a short introduction by the compiler, Saint Bernard himself takes us in hand and leads us along the way to the fullness of the life in Christ. Bernards rich style, the work of a master poet, is redolent with an inviting warmth that lets the reader discover union with God to be the intimate and all-fulfilling embrace of lovers. It is an embrace that transforms us and makes us truly Godlike. The selections of Bernards ever-beautiful prose offered here are varied enough to introduce the reader to all the Saints more important writings. They give a taste and invite the pursuit of deeper discoveries. The will encourage the reader no matter where he or she may be on their spiritual journey.
Description : Appearances can be deceptive; and medieval ritual practices are in this respect no exception. They perform stability through the codification of repetitive modes of behaviour and simultaneously admit flexibility in their integration of newer forms of representation. They mask the historical contingencies of their own creation and construct alternative narratives of authority and continuity. They do not simply appear; their appearance reflects the mutual interplay of construction and modification. This collection of eleven essays - which chronologically spans the period from the Carolingians to the Catholic Reform movement of the later sixteenth century - explores this double-edged potential in the appearance of medieval ritual practices; and, in this case, chiefly church rituals. It comprises a series of individual studies by scholars of literature, theology, music, and the visual arts. Each study examines a particular moment of change or transformation in ritual practices, illuminating, thereby, processes of ritualization. In this way, the book both provides an impulse to the recent renewal of methodological interest in ritual studies and presents individual contributions to specific scholarly discourses within this broad area.
Description : Interiorization and a trend towards a consideration of the nature of personal experience have long been recognized as important elements in the changing landscape of the religious culture of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The homo interior is at the centre of the religious writings of that time, and the 'inner man' is a pivotal concept for making sense of the literature of religious formation. Monastic writers try to provide their readers with a 'script' to enact in themselves, in order to form their inner self, as the way to ascend to the knowledge of God. Interiority, however, is not a straightforward aspect of human existence with an unchanging meaning. The notion as it is used by medieval monastic authors gives expression to a specific understanding of what a human being was thought to be, quite different from later self-perceptions. Because of this difference, when they write 'histories of the self' historians and philosophers often pass over the Middle Ages. On the other hand, in histories of mysticism the twelfth century is often read through the lens of later mysticism. This book explores the notion of interiority via four influential authors of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and the way in which notions about interiority function in their pedagogy. The concepts governing how the homo interior is fashioned are developed within age-old monastic and theological traditions. Medieval ideas about man as imago Dei, monastic reading culture and biblical exegesis are only a few of the elements of these traditions. The choice of authors has been guided by the wish to encompass and highlight various aspects of the eleventh- and twelfth-century notions of 'inner life': monastic and eremitical tradition in Peter Damian, theological-anthropological concepts in Hugh of Saint-Victor, the importance of exegetical procedures in Richard of Saint-Victor, and the role of experience in William of Saint-Thierry. These authors illustrate what was then conceptually possible when it came to thinking about the inner life. Their notions of the inner self are an intriguing part of a continuing history of conceptions of the self and of how it may be fashioned.
Description : What lay behind this shift? Should we attribute it to changes in priestly status? To the development of new techniques for breaching the heart's secrecy? Was new value placed on the secrets subject to confession? These questions are provocative because much recent scholarship implicates medieval penance in evolving western notions of selfhood and the part played by interiority in defining the self. Lateran IV's mandate to confess is characterized as a critical juncture in the history of subjectivity and the rise of a modern sense of self with its noted attributes of inwardness and autonomy. The aim of Sin, Interiority, and Selfhood in the Twelfth-Century West is to uncover the conception of self that underlay the demand that all Christians confess their innermost thoughts. Drawing on sources from the world of the medieval schools, it juxtaposes discussions that treat topics ranging from the difficulties of discerning the source of tears to the mechanics of original sin.