By G. R. Evans

During this e-book the popular medievalist G.R. Evans presents a concise advent to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), a determine of towering value at the twelfth-century monastic and theological scene. After a quick review of Bernard's lifestyles, Evans specializes in a number of significant topics in his paintings, together with his theology of spirituality and his theology of the political lifetime of the Church. the one to be had advent to Bernard's existence and idea, this most modern addition to the Great Medieval Thinkers sequence will entice a large viewers of scholars and students of heritage and theology.

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To that end they must be always journeying back, always striving to know God so as to know what they ought to be, always aware of their smallness and fallen state. 8 The finding of oneself, one’s ‘development’ as a person, depends upon the realisation of that ideal. It does not mean being oneself as unique and different but, paradoxically, being as close as possible to the ideal, which is God himself. The differentiation sanctioned by Scripture is that of a variety of gifts of the Spirit, not that which values idiosyncrasy and distinctiveness as a human good.

It is open to question whether there was a sufficiently developed ‘school’ tradition at this date for it to be possible to conceive of such an opposition other than at the level of personalities with a preference for one approach rather than another, where it was certainly sometimes actively expressed. Nevertheless, a certain amount of ground can be laid. It is uncontroversial that Bernard was not ‘academically’ trained in the way Abelard and Gilbert of Poitiers were. He never had that kind of schooling.

A Higher Calling ‘Conversion’ in Bernard’s day normatively meant making the decision to enter the religious life. 10 This conversio did not necessarily involve a metanoia; still less was it likely to be a conversion from 24 bernard of clairvaux no faith at all to faith in Christ, or from another faith to the Christian faith. 11 Bernard looks for an emotional component, a heightening of experience, too. He makes great efforts to stir up such feeling in his monks and his correspondents alike. But first and foremost, it was a decision to take an existing faith seriously, to make a sacrificial commitment by leaving the world and its goods and taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

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