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A Not-So-Unexciting Life

Essays on Benedictine History and Spirituality in Honor of Michael Casey, OCSO

Edited by Carmel Posa, SGS

This volume, written by eighteen monks, nuns, and lay scholars from seven countries and four continents, aims to recognize the contribution that Michael Casey has made to Cistercian and Benedictine life over the past forty years. Acclaimed as one of the most significant writers in the Benedictine and Cistercian tradition, Casey has published over one hundred articles and reviews in various journals, written more than eighteen books, and edited many more books and journals. He is a world-renowned retreat master, lecturer, and formator.Carmel Posa, SGS, has been a Sister of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St. Benedict since 1989. She earned her master's degree from Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1996 and was awarded a doctorate from the Melbourne College of Divinity in 2009. She has been a senior lecturer in theology at Notre Dame University, Australia, and is presently the executive director of the New Norcia Institute for Benedictine Studies and co-editor of Tjurunga: An Australasian Benedictine Review.

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The Rule of Benedict

An Invitation to the Christian Life

Georg Holzherr, OSB; Translated by Mark Thamert, OSB

In his introduction to this commentary on the Rule of Benedict, Abbot Georg Holzherr offers this analogy: "The Rule is comparable to an old heavy red wine that is enjoyed in small sips. . . . Head and heart, soul and mind should taste the words of the Rule, just as the eye enjoys the color of the wine while tongue, nose, and mouth take in the delightful gift of God each in their own way." In this new translation, based on the completely revised seventh edition of Die Benediktsregel, Holzherr has created a profoundly rich commentary using up-to-date research methods and the latest translations of ancient monastic texts. At the same time, this commentary is meant not only for experts in the field of ancient monasticism but also for all lay and monastic readers interested in delving into the teachings and spirituality of Saint Benedict and his spiritual predecessors in the East and in the West.This edition also features a completely revised and expanded introduction and commentary. New research in the field of early monasticism is offered, including new insights into the monastic life of women. Finally, the updated bibliography and a detailed index are valuable tools for anyone wanting to explore the extraordinary world of Saint Benedict.Georg Holzherr, OSB, entered monastic life at the Abbey of Einsiedeln in Switzerland in 1949. Upon completing studies in Einsiedeln and Rome, he received the Dr. jur. can. and began teaching at the Theologische Schule Einsiedeln in 1957. He was elected abbot of Einsiedeln Abbey in 1969. Holzherr is recognized as one of today's leading experts on the Rule of Saint Benedict and its sources, spirituality, and applicability to everyday life.Mark Thamert, OSB, is a monk of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. Since receiving his PhD in Germanic languages and literatures from Princeton University in 1985, Thamert has taught all levels of German in the Language and Cultures Department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.

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Palladius of Aspuna

The Lausiac History

Edited and Translated by John Wortley

Born in Galatia in the 360s, Palladius enrolled as a monk on the Mount of Olives in his early twenties. As a monk, he traveled to Alexandria, the desert of Nitria, the Cells, Palestine, Rome, and the Thebaid. During his travels he encountered Rufinus of Aquileia, Melania the Elder, the hermit Dorotheos, Macarius of Alexandria, Evagrius of Pontus, Jerome of Bethlehem, and John Chrysostom. He wrote this elegant account of his visits to various monastic sites in Egypt toward the end of the fourth century AD for the imperial chamberlain Lausus. It is both the most sophisticated and the most informative of the few documents illustrating the earliest chapter in the history of Christian monasticism. Palladius's work is the only one of the major monastic writings not written for fellow monks to inspire them with models for their emulation but rather for a man very much of the world, with the explicit intention of exerting not only religious but also political influence.John Wortley is emeritus professor at the University of Manitoba and an Anglican priest. His previous publications include The Book of the Elders, Paul of Monembasia, and The Spiritual Meadow (all from Cistercian Publications) as well as Skylitzes' Synopsis of Byzantine History and The Anonymous Sayings of the Desert Fathers, both from Cambridge University Press.

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Bernard of Clairvaux

Monastic Sermons

Translated by Daniel Griggs; Introduction by Michael Casey, OSCO

Saint Bernard was born in 1090 near Dijon, France. He joined the fifteen-year-old monastery of Cîteaux in 1113. In 1115 he became the founding abbot ofClairvaux Abbey, whence his name, Bernard of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard was a gifted and prolific writer of theological treatises, scriptural commentaries, letters, and many sermons. The sermons in the collection published here, styled Sermones de diversis (sermons about various topics), lack the specific point of departure that characterizes his other sermons. That is, whereas the sermons on the Song of Songs are a verse-by-verse commentary on that biblical book and his Sermons for the Year follow the liturgical calendar, this collection of sermons deals with his various pastoral concerns. Since Scripture is always Bernard's point of departure and inspiration, the sermons often read like a Scripture study, but what comes through equally is the voice of an understanding spiritual father who is a masterful student of Scripture, biblical language, and the needs of his monks.Daniel Griggs has an MA in medieval studies and a PhD in Byzantine theology, both from the University of Leeds. He teaches Latin at Butte College near Chico, California, and translates medieval texts from Greek and Latin. He is currently translating Aelred of Rievaulx's sermons from the Reading collection, from Gaetano Raciti's critical edition in Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis 2C.

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The Text of a Coptic Monastic Discourse On Love and Self-Control

Its Story from the Fourth Century to the Twenty-First

Carolyn Schneider

This book introduces a beautiful fourth-century Coptic discourse on love and self-control in its first English translation. The text's heading attributes it to Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, but this attribution is questionable. Exploring issues of authorship and context, this book locates the origins of On Love and Self-Control in the Upper Egyptian Pachomian monastic community of the mid-fourth century. It then traces the various uses of On Love and Self-Control to the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, when the single surviving manuscript was copied as part of an anthology at the Monastery of St. Shenoute of Atripe. A partial reconstruction of this now dismembered codex is provided.Carolyn Schneider is associate professor of church history at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Hong Kong, where she serves as a missionary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She teaches courses introducing the history of the global church in every era but specializes in exploring the theologies of Athanasius in his fourth-century Egyptian context and Martin Luther in his sixteenth-century European context.

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Columban

His Rule and His Movement

Terrence G. Kardong, OSB

Columban: His Rule and His Movement contains a new English translation of a commentary on the entire Rule of Columban. Columban was a sixth-century Irish monk who compiled a written rule of life for the three monasteries he founded in France: Anegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines. This volume also includes the first English translation of the Regula cuiusdam Patris ad Virgines, or the Rule of Walbert, compiled by the seventh-century Count Walbert from various earlier rules designed for women, including those of Columban, Benedict, Cassian, and Basil. This book begins with an extensive introduction to the history of Columban and his monks, as well as various indices and notes, which will be of interest to students and enthusiasts of monastic studies.Terrence G. Kardong, OSB, is a monk of Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota. He has been editor of The American Benedictine Review since 1982 and has written many books and articles, including Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary and Benedict Backwards, both published by Liturgical Press.

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Bernard of Clairvaux

Monastic Sermons

Translated by Daniel Griggs; Introduction by Michael Casey, OCSO

Saint Bernard was born in 1090 near Dijon, France. He joined the fifteen-year-old monastery of Cîteaux in 1113. In 1115 he became the founding abbot ofClairvaux Abbey, whence his name, Bernard of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard was a gifted and prolific writer of theological treatises, scriptural commentaries, letters, and many sermons. The sermons in the collection published here, styled Sermones de diversis (sermons about various topics), lack the specific point of departure that characterizes his other sermons. That is, whereas the sermons on the Song of Songs are a verse-by-verse commentary on that biblical book and his Sermons for the Year follow the liturgical calendar, this collection of sermons deals with his various pastoral concerns. Since Scripture is always Bernard's point of departure and inspiration, the sermons often read like a Scripture study, but what comes through equally is the voice of an understanding spiritual father who is a masterful student of Scripture, biblical language, and the needs of his monks.Daniel Griggs has an MA in medieval studies and a PhD in Byzantine theology, both from the University of Leeds. He teaches Latin at Butte College near Chico, California, and translates medieval texts from Greek and Latin. He is currently translating Aelred of Rievaulx's sermons from the Reading collection, from Gaetano Raciti's critical edition in Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis 2C.

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Moral Reflections on the Book of Job, Volume 2 (Books 6-10)

Gregory the Great; Translated by Brian Kerns, OCSO; Introduction by Mark DelCogliano

Gregory the Great was pope from 590 to 604, a time of great turmoil in Italy and in the western Roman Empire generally because of the barbarian invasions. Gregory's experience as prefect of the city of Rome and as apocrisarius of Pope Pelagius fitted him admirably for the new challenges of the papacy. The Moral Reflections on the Book of Job were first given to the monks who accompanied Gregory to the embassy in Constantinople. This second volume, containing books 6-10, provides commentary on Job 5:3-12:5. Here, Gregory sets forth "a mystical interpretation" of these chapters, showing the way that Scripture foretells Christ's incarnation and that Job himself manifests Jesus' passion.Br. Brian Kerns has been a Trappist for fifty-eight years: seventeen years at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, and the rest at the Abbey of the Genesee in upper New York state, interrupted by a year at Oxford, North Carolina, and five years at Genesee's foundation of Novo Mundo in Parana, Brazil. He hails originally from Pottsville, in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania. For many years he worked in the library at Genesee and Novo Mundo, and he has interested himself in various translation projects, including translating a book about the Abbot General of the Trappists in the early 1960s, titled Dom Gabriel Sortais: An Amazing Abbot in Turbulent Times. The first volume of his translation of Gregory the Great's Moral Reflections on the Book of Job was published by Cistercian Publications in 2014.When you sign up for a standing order for the six volumes of Moral Reflections on the Book of Job you will receive all of the volumes billed and shipped to you as they are published at a savings of 25% off the cover price! Call 1-800-858-5450 to make sure you don't miss out on this complete commentary on the biblical book of Job from the medieval era.

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Palladius of Aspuna

The Lausiac History

Edited and Translated by John Wortley

Born in Galatia in the 360s, Palladius enrolled as a monk on the Mount of Olives in his early twenties. As a monk, he traveled to Alexandria, the desert of Nitria, the Cells, Palestine, Rome, and the Thebaid. During his travels he encountered Rufinus of Aquileia, Melania the Elder, the hermit Dorotheos, Macarius of Alexandria, Evagrius of Pontus, Jerome of Bethlehem, and John Chrysostom. He wrote this elegant account of his visits to various monastic sites in Egypt toward the end of the fourth century AD for the imperial chamberlain Lausus. It is both the most sophisticated and the most informative of the few documents illustrating the earliest chapter in the history of Christian monasticism. Palladius's work is the only one of the major monastic writings not written for fellow monks to inspire them with models for their emulation but rather for a man very much of the world, with the explicit intention of exerting not only religious but also political influence.John Wortley is emeritus professor at the University of Manitoba and an Anglican priest. His previous publications include The Book of the Elders, Paul of Monembasia, and The Spiritual Meadow (all from Cistercian Publications) as well as Skylitzes' Synopsis of Byzantine History and The Anonymous Sayings of the Desert Fathers, both from Cambridge University Press.

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Unity of Spirit

Studies on William Of Saint-Thierry in Honor of E. Rozanne Elder

Edited by F. Tyler Sergent, Aage Rydstrøm-Poulsen, and Marsha L. DuttonForeword by Bernard McGinn; Afterword by John R. Sommerfeldt

William of Saint-Thierry (ca. 1080–1148) became abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Thierry in about 1119, holding that office for about sixteen years and writing a large number of works, some for the guidance of the monks of his abbey and others as theological treatises. But during that same time, after meeting Bernard, abbot of the Cistercian abbey of Clairvaux, he longed to become a Cistercian. He finally satisfied that dream in 1135, when he became a monk at Signy. His final work was the first of the five books that constitute the Vita Prima Sancti Bernardi.The nine chapters in this book explore William's thought as represented in his twenty works, ranging from his earliest theological writing through his contribution to the Vita Prima Sancti Bernardi. The contributors to this volume have moved scholarship on William in new directions, ranging from a comparative analysis of Bernard's and William's thought through a study of William's Christology, an analysis of individual works, a new translation of one of William's little-known works, an examination of sixteenth-century images drawn from the Vita Prima, a study of William's rhetorical skills, and a recognition of William's new take on the phrase unitas spiritus. Dr. E. Rozanne Elder's expertise as a scholar of the works of William of Saint-Thierry, combined with her decades of distinguished service as a professor of history, director of the Institute of Cistercian Studies and then of the Center for Cistercian and Monastic Studies, all at Western Michigan University, and as editorial director of Cistercian Publications for thirty-five years, has made her the best known of Cistercian scholars today. She is the one primarily responsible for moving Cistercian studies into the mainstream of medieval history and thought. As the gracious and indefatigable host of the annual Conference of Cistercian Studies that takes place each May as part of the International Medieval Studies Congress, she has created a community of scholars and friends.

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Columban

His Rule and His Movement

Terrence G. Kardong, OSB

Columban: His Rule and His Movement contains a new English translation of a commentary on the entire Rule of Columban. Columban was a sixth-century Irish monk who compiled a written rule of life for the three monasteries he founded in France: Anegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines. This volume also includes the first English translation of the Regula cuiusdam Patris ad Virgines, or the Rule of Walbert, compiled by the seventh-century Count Walbert from various earlier rules designed for women, including those of Columban, Benedict, Cassian, and Basil. This book begins with an extensive introduction to the history of Columban and his monks, as well as various indices and notes, which will be of interest to students and enthusiasts of monastic studies.Terrence G. Kardong, OSB, is a monk of Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota. He has been editor of The American Benedictine Review since 1982 and has written many books and articles, including Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary and Benedict Backwards, both published by Liturgical Press.

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Palladius of Aspuna

The Lausiac History

Edited and Translated by John Wortley

Born in Galatia in the 360s, Palladius enrolled as a monk on the Mount of Olives in his early twenties. As a monk, he traveled to Alexandria, the desert of Nitria, the Cells, Palestine, Rome, and the Thebaid. During his travels he encountered Rufinus of Aquileia, Melania the Elder, the hermit Dorotheos, Macarius of Alexandria, Evagrius of Pontus, Jerome of Bethlehem, and John Chrysostom. He wrote this elegant account of his visits to various monastic sites in Egypt toward the end of the fourth century AD for the imperial chamberlain Lausus. It is both the most sophisticated and the most informative of the few documents illustrating the earliest chapter in the history of Christian monasticism. Palladius's work is the only one of the major monastic writings not written for fellow monks to inspire them with models for their emulation but rather for a man very much of the world, with the explicit intention of exerting not only religious but also political influence.John Wortley is emeritus professor at the University of Manitoba and an Anglican priest. His previous publications include The Book of the Elders, Paul of Monembasia, and The Spiritual Meadow (all from Cistercian Publications) as well as Skylitzes' Synopsis of Byzantine History and The Anonymous Sayings of the Desert Fathers, both from Cambridge University Press.

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The World of Medieval Monasticism

Its History and Forms of Life

Gert Melville, Translated by James D. Mixson, Foreword by Giles Constable

This book surveys the full panorama of ten centuries of Christian monastic life. It moves from the deserts of Egypt and the Frankish monasteries of early medieval Europe to the religious ruptures of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and the reforms of the later Middle Ages. Throughout that story the book balances a rich sense of detail with a broader synthetic view. It presents the history of religious life and its orders as a complex braid woven from multiple strands: individual and community, spirit and institution, rule and custom, church and world. The result is a synthesis that places religious life at the center of European history and presents its institutions as key catalysts of Europe's move toward modernity.Gert Melville is senior professor for medieval history at Dresden University. He is the founder and director of the Research Center for the Comparative History of the Religious Orders (FOVOG) and the author of scores of essays on medieval religious and cultural history. He is also the lead investigator on a number of long-term international projects. The most recent of these includes a study (established in conjunction with the Saxon and Heidelberg Academies of Sciences) of "Monasteries in the High Middle Ages" as focal points of innovation in European life.James D. Mixson is an associate professor of history at the University of Alabama. His recent publications include Poverty's Proprietors: Ownership and Mortal Sin at the Origins of the Observant Movement (Brill, 2009) and several essays on the history of late-medieval religious reform. He is also the editor (with Bert Roest) of A Companion to Observant Reform in the Late Middle Ages and Beyond (Brill, 2015).

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Unity of Spirit

Studies on William Of Saint-Thierry in Honor of E. Rozanne Elder

Edited by F. Tyler Sergent, Aage Rydstrøm-Poulsen, and Marsha L. DuttonForeword by Bernard McGinn; Afterword by John R. Sommerfeldt

William of Saint-Thierry (ca. 1080–1148) became abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Thierry in about 1119, holding that office for about sixteen years and writing a large number of works, some for the guidance of the monks of his abbey and others as theological treatises. But during that same time, after meeting Bernard, abbot of the Cistercian abbey of Clairvaux, he longed to become a Cistercian. He finally satisfied that dream in 1135, when he became a monk at Signy. His final work was the first of the five books that constitute the Vita Prima Sancti Bernardi.The nine chapters in this book explore William's thought as represented in his twenty works, ranging from his earliest theological writing through his contribution to the Vita Prima Sancti Bernardi. The contributors to this volume have moved scholarship on William in new directions, ranging from a comparative analysis of Bernard's and William's thought through a study of William's Christology, an analysis of individual works, a new translation of one of William's little-known works, an examination of sixteenth-century images drawn from the Vita Prima, a study of William's rhetorical skills, and a recognition of William's new take on the phrase unitas spiritus. Dr. E. Rozanne Elder's expertise as a scholar of the works of William of Saint-Thierry, combined with her decades of distinguished service as a professor of history, director of the Institute of Cistercian Studies and then of the Center for Cistercian and Monastic Studies, all at Western Michigan University, and as editorial director of Cistercian Publications for thirty-five years, has made her the best known of Cistercian scholars today. She is the one primarily responsible for moving Cistercian studies into the mainstream of medieval history and thought. As the gracious and indefatigable host of the annual Conference of Cistercian Studies that takes place each May as part of the International Medieval Studies Congress, she has created a community of scholars and friends.

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Aelred the Peacemaker

The Public Life of a Cistercian Abbot

Jean Truax

In addition to being a prolific spiritual writer and the abbot of the premier Cistercian monastery in northern England, Aelred of Rievaulx somehow found the time and the stamina to travel extensively throughout the Anglo-Norman realm, acting as a mediator, a problem solver, and an adviser to kings. His career spanned the troubled years of the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda and reached its zenith during the early years of the reign of Henry II. This work focuses on Aelred's public career as revealed in his own historical writing as well as in chronicle references and other documents. This aspect of his life has been previously neglected because his personal letters have been lost and his biographer, Walter Daniel, concentrated on his life within the monastery. Jean Truax obtained her PhD in medieval history from the University of Houston in 1995 while working in the IT department of an oil service company. Now that she has retired from the business world she is an independent scholar and the author of a study of three twelfth-century archbishops of Canterbury: Ralph d'Escures, William of Corbeil and Theobald of Bec: Heirs of Anselm and Ancestors of Becket. She comes to her interest in Aelred of Rievaulx and the Cistercians because of the welcome extended to her at the Cistercian and Monastic Studies Conference, which meets every year in conjunction with the International Congress on Medieval Studies held at the University of Western Michigan in Kalamazoo.

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