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The World of Medieval Monasticism

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 Nature of Saint John's

A Guide to the Landscape and Spirituality of Saint John's Abbey Arboretum

Saint John's University Press

This is the first comprehensive field guide to the natural and human history of the Saint John's Abbey Arboretum of central Minnesota. Its 2,500 acres of forest, prairie, savanna, and lakes have been carefully stewarded by Benedictine monks for more than a century and a half. It is Minnesota's largest arboretum and includes one of the state's finest forests of native oak, the state's first reforesting project, and its oldest planted pines. The guidebook features detailed topographical maps and descriptions of the Abbey Arboretum's hiking trails, descriptions of 120 native species of vegetation and wildlife, profiles of pioneer Benedictine stewards, and meditations and prayers for spiritual renewal, a "lectio on nature." It's an ideal pocket-guide companion for hikers or for those who simply wish to hold the Arboretum in their hands. The Saint John's Abbey Arboretum celebrates and preserves the beauty and richness of God's creation, fostering the Benedictine tradition of environmental respect, spiritual renewal, and education.

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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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Christian Monks on Chinese Soil

A History of Monastic Missions to China

Matteo Nicolini-Zani, Translated by Sophia Senyk and William Skudlarek, OSB

The contribution of monks to the evangelization of lands not yet reached by the preaching of the Gospel has certainly been remarkable. The specific witness that the monastic community gives is of a radical Christian life naturally radiating outward, and thus it is implicitly missionary. The process of inculturation of Christian monasticism in China required a bold spiritual attitude of openness to the future and a willingness to accept the transformation of monastic forms that had been received. In Christian Monks on Chinese Soil, Matteo Nicolini-Zani highlights the willingness of foreign monks to encounter the cultural and spiritual realities of China and the degree of acceptance by the Chinese of the form of monastic life that was presented to them by the missionaries.Matteo Nicolini-Zani is a monk of the Community of Bose (Italy) and coordinator of the Italian Commission of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Chinese Language and Literature. His main interest of research is the history of Christianity in China, a topic upon which he has published several articles and books.

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The Cistercian Fathers and Their Monastic Theology

The Cistercian Fathers and Their Monastic Theology

Initiation into the Monastic Tradition 8

Thomas Merton, Edited by Patrick F. O'Connell

These conferences, presented by Thomas Merton to the novices at the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1963-1964, focus mainly on the life and writings of his great Cistercian predecessor, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). Guiding his students through Bernard's Marian sermons, his treatise On the Love of God, his controversy with Peter Abelard, and above all his great series of sermons on the Song of Songs, Merton reveals why Bernard was the major religious and cultural figure in Europe during the first half of the twelfth century and why he has remained one of the most influential spiritual theologians of Western Christianity from his own day until the present. As James Finley writes in his preface to this volume, "Merton is teaching us in these notes how to be grateful and amazed that the ancient wisdom that shimmers and shines in the eloquent and beautiful things that mystics say is now flowing in our sincere desire to learn from God how to find our way to God."Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Catholic convert, Cistercian monk and hermit, poet, contemplative, social critic, and pioneer of interreligious dialogue, was a seminal figure of twentieth-century American Christianity. The one hundredth anniversary of his birth was celebrated in 2015.Patrick F. O'Connell is professor of English and theology at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. A founding member and former president of the International Thomas Merton Society, he edits The Merton Seasonal and he is coauthor of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia. He has edited seven previous volumes of Thomas Merton's monastic conferences for the Monastic Wisdom Series, most recently Charter, Customs, and Constitutions of the Cistercians (2015), and he is also editor of Merton's Selected Essays (2013) and Early Essays: 1947-1952 (2015).

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The Honey of Souls

The Honey of Souls

Cassiodorus and the Interpretation of the Psalms in the Early Medieval West

Derek Olsen

The Honey of Souls is the first full-length study of the Explanation of the Psalms by Cassiodorus. While the Explanation became a seminal document for the monastic movement in the West and was eagerly read and widely quoted for centuries, it has languished in relative obscurity in the modern period. Derek Olsen explores Cassiodorus and his strategies for reading as a window into a spirituality of the psalms that defined early Western biblical interpretation.Derek A. Olsen earned a PhD in New Testament from Emory University in 2011. His research focuses on the intersection between Scripture and liturgy, and he currently serves on the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. He is also the author of Reading Matthew with Monks (Liturgical Press, 2015).

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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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A Saint in the Sun

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 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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