By Steven Botterill

During this learn, Steven Botterill explores the highbrow dating among the best poet of the fourteenth century, Dante, and the best non secular author of the 12th century, Bernard of Clairvaux. Botterill analyzes Bernard's visual appeal as a personality within the final cantos of the Paradiso within the context of his medieval attractiveness as a contemplative mystic, devotee of Mary, and, in particular, a preacher of exceptional eloquence. Botterill's new serious stance will impress a reevaluation of Bernard's value within the Commedia.

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Extra resources for Dante and the Mystical Tradition: Bernard of Clairvaux in the Commedia

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Bernard of Clairvaux is unusual among medieval saints, in that materials for his biography began to be assembled by those close to him long before his death. 2 Although William died before Bernard, in 1148, his work was continued by Arnald of Bonneval, who added a second book to the Vita; and Arnald was followed by another Cistercian monk, 2 Jean Leclercq, Bernard of Clairvaux and the Cistercian Spirit, translated by Claire Lavoie (Kalamazoo, 1976; originally Saint Bernard el I*esprit cistercien, Paris, 1966), pp.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Bernard should be far from the most respected of writers in the eyes of scholastic thinkers. 13 Other scholastics seem, at times, even to display a certain scepticism about the value of Bernard's intellectual achievements; and the foremost among these is Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was, however, by no means the first scholastic, or indeed the first Dominican, to quote Bernard: his teacher Albert the Great does so frequently. Modern understanding of Albert's indebtedness to Bernard has been seriously affected by the discovery that the Mariale formerly attributed to Albert is not, in fact, genuine.

Xn. 140-1) and which pervades his every page - together form an eccentric but mesmerizing vision of Christian history. 2 Discussing the condition of the Benedictine Order after its founder's death, Joachim speaks of the encouragement offered it by 'futuri... signum muneris, quod erat omnipotens Deus... collaturus' ('the sign of a future gift which Almighty God would bestow upon [it]'). This gift was to be the birth of a * doctor precipuus, qui esset quasi alter Moyses' (' a man of great learning, who would be like another Moses').

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