Bernard of Clairvaux on the Life of the Mind

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This work, by one of the world's leading medievalists and summarizing a lifetime of scholarship on Bernard of Clairvaux, is a study of the many-faceted, complex, yet consistent thought of the most influential thinker of the first half of the twelfth century -- whose thought influenced all medieval thinkers, including Luther and Calvin. Bernard's epistemology is complex. He was a humanist devoted to the classical literary approach to reality, which aims at achieving wisdom through the appreciation of beauty. He was a scholastic who applied the tools of dialectic to philosophical, theological, and legal questions. And he was a "mystic" who fostered superrational means of ascertaining reality: faith, charismatic knowledge, and contemplation. But mystical, humanist, and scholastic sources of knowledge are not, except in the case of faith, the typical ways people learn. Bernard recognized alternative, common-sense ways of knowing, including counsel and the vocational training necessary to each group in society. So Bernard's view of society and the Church provide the context within which we can best understand his epistemology -- as well as why the titanic Abelard-Bernard conflict has been completely misunderstood.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809142033
  • Publisher: Newman Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

Table of Abbreviations
I Bernard and the Life of the Mind 1
II Mysticism: The Truth as Gift 12
III Humanism: Beauty and the Pursuit of Truth 30
IV Scholasticism: The Roles of Reason 40
V Common-sense Consideration and Counsel 55
VI The Relationship Between the Paths to Truth 69
VII Inconsistency and Order 81
VIII The Chimaera Revisited 104
IX The Abelard Affair 120
Notes 139
Bibliography 175
Index 193
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