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Unity of Spirit

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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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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The First Life of Bernard of Clairvaux

The First Life of Bernard of Clairvaux

William of Saint-Thierry, Arnold of Bonneval, and Geoffrey of Auxerre; Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Hilary Costello, OCSO

The First Life of Bernard of Clairvaux, traditionally known as the Vita Prima, originated to prepare the case for canonization of Bernard, first abbot of Clairvaux. The work was begun by William of Saint-Thierry, continued by Arnold of Bonneval, and completed by Geoffrey of Auxerre.When the initial case put forth for Bernard was rejected by Innocent II, Geoffrey undertook a revision of the original vita (Recension A) and submitted another version (Recension B) to Pope Alexander III, who declared Bernard a saint in 1174. This work emphasizes the deep love in which Bernard was held during his life by his monks and the people of France and Italy as well as his role as a powerful public figure.This book contains the first English translation of Recension B, drawn from what is apparently the only manuscript of the work found today in a Cistercian monastery, Mount Saint Bernard Abbey. The introduction begins with the story of how this manuscript came to Mount Saint Bernard, so fixing this translation of the Vita Prima within Cistercian life from the twelfth century to today.Fr. Hilary Costello, OCSO, was born in London in 1926. During World War II he was conscripted into the coal mines, where he worked from 1943 to 1947. Although he had not considered a monastic vocation until he was nearly twenty, in 1947 he entered Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, in Leicestershire. For fourteen years he worked in the abbey's orchard, after which he was guest master for the abbey. After being ordained in 1955, he began to work on medieval manuscripts, especially the sermons of John of Forde, which he and Fr. Edmund Mikkers, ocso, edited for Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis (vols. 17 and 18). He has also published articles on John, Gilbert of Hoyland, and other Cistercian authors. Fr. Hilary was also the bursar of Mount Saint Bernard for almost twenty years. He currently does bookbinding for the abbey.

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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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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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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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Price: $24.95

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A Saint in the Sun

Praising Saint Bernard in the France of Louis XIV

David N. Bell

This volume contains translations or summaries of the most important panegyrics in praise of Saint Bernard that were preached during the reign of Louis XIV. Some of the preachers were and are regarded as the greatest orators ever to grace the French pulpit. All the translations are extensively annotated, and there are three introductory chapters providing a necessary background for appreciating the sermons. Sixteen preachers are represented, and, with one exception, none of the material has ever appeared in English. For those interested in the afterlife of Saint Bernard, as he was used, and sometimes abused, in the reign of the Sun King, this collection provides essential primary sources.David N. Bell is professor emeritus of religious studies at Memorial University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He retired as head of the Department of Religious Studies at the end of 2011. He has published some two dozen books, more than a hundred articles, and a great number of book reviews. His most recent book, published May 2014, is The Library of the Abbey of La Trappe: A Study of its History from the Twelfth Century to the French Revolution (Brepols).

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Moral Reflections on the Book of Job, Volume 3

Books 11-16

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

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 third volume, containing books 11 through 16, provides commentary on twelve chapters of Job, from 12:6 through 24:20. Whereas volume 1 concentrated largely on the moral reading of the first four chapters of Job and volume 2 on the mystical interpretation of the next seven, volume 3 offers a rapid overview of nearly thirteen chapters in their original oral format, including a brief comment at the beginning of each of the six books to explain its contents.Br. Brian Kerns has been a Trappist for sixty 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, among which is the life of Dom Gabriel Sortais, abbot general of the Trappists in the early 1960s. That volume has also been published by Cistercian Publications, in the Monastic Wisdom series. 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 and the second in 2015..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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A Saint in the Sun

Praising Saint Bernard in the France of Louis XIV

David N. Bell

This volume contains translations or summaries of the most important panegyrics in praise of Saint Bernard that were preached during the reign of Louis XIV. Some of the preachers were and are regarded as the greatest orators ever to grace the French pulpit. All the translations are extensively annotated, and there are three introductory chapters providing a necessary background for appreciating the sermons. Sixteen preachers are represented, and, with one exception, none of the material has ever appeared in English. For those interested in the afterlife of Saint Bernard, as he was used, and sometimes abused, in the reign of the Sun King, this collection provides essential primary sources.David N. Bell is professor emeritus of religious studies at Memorial University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He retired as head of the Department of Religious Studies at the end of 2011. He has published some two dozen books, more than a hundred articles, and a great number of book reviews. His most recent book, published May 2014, is The Library of the Abbey of La Trappe: A Study of its History from the Twelfth Century to the French Revolution (Brepols).

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The Old English Rule of Saint Benedict

with Related Old English Texts

Saint Æthelwold of Winchester; Translated and Introduced by Jacob Riyeff

St. Æthelwold (904/909-984), abbot of Abingdon and bishop of Winchester, made the first translation of the Rule of Saint Benedict into English (or, indeed, into any vernacular language) as part of the tenth-century English Benedictine Reform. This movement dramatically affected the trajectory of religious life in early medieval England and influenced the ways in which secular power was conceived and wielded in the kingdom. Æthelwold's translation into Old English reworks Benedict's Latin text through numerous silent additions, omissions, and instances of explanatory material, revealing an Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical and political reformer intent on making this foundational Latin text more readily accessible to the new monks and nuns of the Reform and to the laity. Presented with related texts composed in Old English, this volume makes Æthelwold's transformation of Benedict's Rule available in Modern English translation for the first time.Jacob Riyeff teaches in the English department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Specializing in Old English poetry and medieval monastic culture, he also translates Old English, Middle English, and French poetry and writes original verse. Jacob is a Benedictine oblate of Osage Deanery in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

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Three Pseudo-Bernardine Works

Edited by Ann Astell and Joseph Warwykow, Introduction by Dom Elias Dietz, OCSO

During the "Silver Age" of the Cistercians (the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries), pseudepigraphical compositions bearing the name Bernard flourished. Important for the history of monasticism and, more broadly, of Christian spiritual formation and practice, these little-studied writings interpret, appropriate, transform, and apply Saint Bernard of Clairvaux's authentic works, transmitting them to new audiences. Under the direction of Ann Astell and Joseph Wawrykow, with the assistance of Thomas Clemmons, a talented team of young scholars from the University of Notre Dame (the Catena Scholarium) offers here a complete translation of three of these Pseudo-Bernardine essays, providing notes that identify sources, clarify allusions, highlight rhetorical strategies, and demonstrate overall a fascinating, intertextual complexity. The Bernard that emerges from these texts speaks with many voices to herald a living, Bernardine tradition.Ann W. Astell is professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of six books on medieval literature and spirituality, including The Song of Songs in the Middle Ages (1990), Job, Boethius, and Epic Truth (1994), and Eating Beauty: The Eucharist and the Spiritual Arts of the Middle Ages (2006).Joseph Wawrykow is professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. An expert on thirteenth-century Scholastic theology, he is the author of God's Grace and Human Action: "Merit" in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas (1996) and The Westminster Handbook to Thomas Aquinas (2005). He is currently preparing a volume of translations in high medieval Christology.

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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, was a monk of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. Since receiving his PhD in Germanic languages and literatures from Princeton University in 1985, Thamert taught all levels of German in the Language and Cultures Department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. Fr. Mark died at the age of 66 in April, 2017, after a courageous battle with cancer.

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Everyday Life at La Trappe under Armand-Jean de Rancé

David N. Bell

This is an annotated translation of the classic Description de l'abbaye de La Trappe, the most important eye-witness account of life at the abbey of La Trappe under Armand-Jean de Rancé. The work includes a map showing the physical layout of the abbey and detailed discussions of the monks' daily life and practice. It was written by André Félibien des Avaux for Jeanne de Schomberg, duchess of Liancourt, in 1671, with a new and enlarged edition being published in 1689. That is the edition translated here, with copious notes to help the reader appreciate Félibien's account.David N. Bell is professor emeritus of religious studies at Memorial University and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He retired as head of the department of religious studies at the end of 2011. He has published some two dozen books, more than a hundred articles, and a great number of book reviews. His most recent book, published in 2017, is A Saint in the Sun: Praising Saint Bernard in the France of Louis XIV (Cistercian Publications).

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The First Life of Bernard of Clairvaux

William of Saint-Thierry, Arnold of Bonneval, and Geoffrey of Auxerre; Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Hilary Costello, OCSO

The First Life of Bernard of Clairvaux, traditionally known as the Vita Prima, originated to prepare the case for canonization of Bernard, first abbot of Clairvaux. The work was begun by William of Saint-Thierry, continued by Arnold of Bonneval, and completed by Geoffrey of Auxerre.When the initial case put forth for Bernard was rejected by Innocent II, Geoffrey undertook a revision of the original vita (Recension A) and submitted another version (Recension B) to Pope Alexander III, who declared Bernard a saint in 1174. This work emphasizes the deep love in which Bernard was held during his life by his monks and the people of France and Italy as well as his role as a powerful public figure.This book contains the first English translation of Recension B, drawn from what is apparently the only manuscript of the work found today in a Cistercian monastery, Mount Saint Bernard Abbey. The introduction begins with the story of how this manuscript came to Mount Saint Bernard, so fixing this translation of the Vita Prima within Cistercian life from the twelfth century to today.Fr. Hilary Costello, OCSO, was born in London in 1926. During World War II he was conscripted into the coal mines, where he worked from 1943 to 1947. Although he had not considered a monastic vocation until he was nearly twenty, in 1947 he entered Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, in Leicestershire. For fourteen years he worked in the abbey's orchard, after which he was guest master for the abbey. After being ordained in 1955, he began to work on medieval manuscripts, especially the sermons of John of Forde, which he and Fr. Edmund Mikkers, ocso, edited for Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis (vols. 17 and 18). He has also published articles on John, Gilbert of Hoyland, and other Cistercian authors. Fr. Hilary was also the bursar of Mount Saint Bernard for almost twenty years. He currently does bookbinding for the abbey.

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