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Richard of St. Victor: The Twelve Patriarchs, the Mystical Ark, Book Three of Trinity Hardcover – Mar 1979


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr (Mar. 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809102412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809102419
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,534,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will begin with an admission: I thoroughly approve of the task that the Paulist have taken upon themselves, and Western Spiritual writing, has included writing from the Islamic world. Richard of St Victor - the small Augustine Abbey outside of Paris, was probably one of the most influential centers of learning in the 12th.c. What is really exemplary is that each writer built upon the work of his predecessor, beginning perhaps with Hugh, and ending perhaps, with Richard. Reading the Twelve Patriarchs was seeing the work of quite a remarkable mind applying itself to a quite profound exegesis of the Bible story. The Mystical Ark, not only develops this, by Richard makes it very clear that what he is also presenting is a route for contemplation. What is also refreshing is that it is free from any sense of didactism - he is just responding to questions, in much the same way that Nicholas of Cusa did with De Imago Dei.
Richard got me reading the story again, and it is unputdownable now, but it was not in my youth.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating Medieval Exegesis 18 Dec. 2001
By Ryan S. Swanson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Richard of St Victor was a great thinker and traveller on the mystical path. The works contained in this volume provide a fascinating glimpse onto the uses of scriptural allegory as Richard unites the Latin and Greek mystical traditions into a synthesis all his own. He was very influential for those who followed him. The student of medieval mysticism will find this book a delight.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A FASCINATING COLLECTION OF THE WRITINGS FROM A 12TH CENTURY MYSTICAL THEOLOGIAN 1 Jun. 2012
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Richard of Saint Victor (died 1173) was a mystical theologian, and the prior of the Augustinian Abbey of Saint Victor in Paris from 1162 until his death. He is the link between the early tradition of Pseudo-Dionysius and the later mystical awakening in Medieval Europe.

He suggests that "many things, even those that have been written concerning the torments of evil persons must be interpreted mystically. Similarly, many things concerning goods of the future life, although described corporally, must be understood simply." (Pg. 70-71) He says that "Certainly God made even those parts of the body that we call shameful. However, no one other than you made the shameful things of the heart." (Pg. 104)

He argues that "You must know the invisible things of your own spirit before you can be capable of knowing the invisible things of God. If you are not able to know yourself, how do you have the boldness to grasp at those things which are above you?" (Pg. 129) He adds, "we are able to separate into three stages that knowledge of God which one is able to possess in this life, and according to the triple difference of stages we are able to divide the heavens by three inasmuch as God is seen one way by faith, is known another way by reason, and is discerned another way by means of contemplation." (Pg. 132)

He suggests that concerning divine instructions, "it should be noted that we ought to understand some things simply and seek nothing in them according to the mystical sense, while some things ought to be employed according to the literal sense, and yet are capable of representing something according to the mystical sense." (Pg. 194) An example is the Trinity, "which you will discover are not only incomprehensible but even discordant to human reason." (Pg. 293)

Richard is a Medieval writer who is well worth "discovering," and this is a very attractive collection of his writings.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Medieval Mysticism 24 Nov. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful initiative to translate these texts of a great mystic of the high middle ages and to make it accessible to those who do not know latin. A special guide to deeper spiritual experience.
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