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Theology, Jean LECLERCQ,

Theology, Jean LECLERCQ,

Postprzez Klementyna Glińska » Śr maja 27, 2009 11:14 pm

Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century
ed. by R. L. Benson and G. Constable with C. D. Lanham
Clarendon Press, Oxford 1982, 71-72

Jean LECLERCQ,

THEOLOGY IN THE CLOISTER
The term ?monastic theology? has gained acceptance as more and more historians recognize its value [7]. It is interesting to note that whereas during Haskins? own time, most historians still combined all twelfth-century authors under the single heading ?prescholasticism? (Vorscholastik) or ?early scholasticism? (Frühscholastik). Haskins saw that a distinction within this group was needed, between ?the theology of Anselm and Peter Lombard and the other early scholastics [and] the writings of St. Bernard and other monastic leaders?. [8]
Today, however, we can batter define the meaning of this distinction, and more clearly determine the relationships among the diverse ?theologies? of the twelfth century. To recognize the existence of a theology different from that of the scholastics does not diminish the value of the latter; and to acknowledge the greatness and the predominant influence of St. Bernard and the Cistercians does not imply a lesser esteem for the non-Cistercian monastic authors. Speaking of several theologies and comparing them does not imply opposing one to another; their enrichment was reciprocal. It must at least be understood that monasticism had its own theology. A formula such as ?between a mystic like Bernard and a rationalist like Abaelard? [9] is obviously a simplification. It is equally reveling that the name of William of St. Thierry never appears in Haskins?s book, although he is today without a doubt after St. Bernard the most written-about twelfth-century theologian [10]. This simply shows that in fifty years out knowledge of the twelfth century has progressed [11]. We have even begun to speak not only of monastic theology, but of a ?plurality of monastic theologies,? [12] and the number of their representatives we are interested in grows continually ? St. Hildegard has joined the once exclusively male company. The greatest figure, however, the one that dominates all the others, is that of a Cisterian: St. Bernard.

[7] Evidence has been collected by Jean Leclerq. ?Chances de la spiritualité occidentale (Paris 1966) 184-224; idem, ?A propos de ?la Renaissance du XIIe si?cle?: Nouveaux témoinages sur la ?théologie monastique.?? ?Collectanea Cisteriensia ? 40 (1978) 65-72; Réginald Grégoire ?Bulletin de théologie monastique,? ?Studia monastica? 10 (1968) 161-80, and 11 (1969) 149-68; idem, ?Esiste una teologia monastica?? ?Inter fratres? 27 (1977) 115-20.
[8] Haskins, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, Cambridge Mass. 7.
[9] Haskins, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, Cambridge Mass. 258.
[10] Jean Leclerq, ?Etudes récentes sur Guillaume de Saint-Thierry,? ?Bulletin de la Société internationale pour l?histoire de la philosophie médiévale? 19 (1977) 49-55.
[11] The principal merit for having pointed out the theological interest of these 12-th-c. monastic authors belongs to Etienne Gilson, particularly for his book ?La théatre mystique de S. Bernard (Paris 1934).
[12] Matthias Neuman, ?Monastic Theology and the Dialogue with Cultural Humanism,? ?Monastic Studies? 12 (1976) 85-119 at 86.
Klementyna Glińska
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