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The Cistercian World: Monastic Writings of the Twelfth Century (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 29 Apr 1993

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The Cistercian World: Monastic Writings of the Twelfth Century (Penguin Classics) + The Cambridge Companion to the Cistercian Order (Cambridge Companions to Religion) + The Cistercian Order in Medieval Europe: 1090-1500 (The Medieval World)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (29 April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140433562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140433562
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 474,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Translated and edited with an introduction by Pauline Matarasso

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
The ruins of the great Cistercian houses that sprang up all over Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries stand today as silent witnesses to an Order for which silence was an integral part of the spiritual life. Read the first page
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By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
I've visited many a monastic ruin in my time, and read the guides and some literature on the architecture of the buildings and the life led therein. But apart from an overview of medieval Christian thought and belief, I have not ventured to read any actual series of writings that show either the everyday or the extraordinary mindset of `the man in the monastery'. Subtitled `Monastic Writings of the Twelfth Century', this `Penguin Classic' goes some way in meeting that need, delving as it does beneath the often bland commentaries on medieval thought in most textbooks to reproduce the actual words written by a succession of twelfth-century Cistercians. As a result, the reader can enter the thoughts of those in the choir and cloister.

As Pauline Matarasso writes in her six-page introduction, "It is the lesser men ... who throw light on the minutiae of daily living and hold up a glass to their own and their contemporaries' strengths and weaknesses, aspirations and beliefs. It is to an indefinable degree a distorting glass ... Theirs was not, however, a propaganda exercise in any crude sense." She writes, "The purpose of this anthology is to give back resonance to these voices, some strikingly individual, which have come down to us out of the great silence compounded of time and neglect and a language comprehensible to fewer and fewer people, and to prove that they can, with a minimum of decoding, speak to us today."

On her choice of extracts, "Because the past may be approached from many angles, I have given importance to variety. There are monks talking of God, monks talking about monks and, on occasion, about cabbages and kings.
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By Mr B on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent overview of a period of European history commonly known as the 12th. Renaissance. It was the Age of the Cathedral building right across Europe which clearly was a response to some form of religious - devotional impulse, and the Cistercian revival under Bernard of Clairvaux was very much an integral part of the whole movement. It was the age of the Crusades whose motivation seems to have been more led by European politics than any religious motive. It was also the Golden Age of Islam, where Greek Science and Philosophy was rediscovered and transmitted to the west. It was an age of contradictions, and this nice collection provides another viewpoint.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful collection of monastic writings. I never go for very long without reading something from this. The writings reveal a breadth of concerns; they include pastoral advice, treatises, sermons, letters, and meditations (most striking is Aelred's struggles with conscience). St. Bernard's insights too are expressed with great grace and power ('...I have a terror of the living death, the dying life...'). Some of the works are clearly personal, and were perhaps not intended for a wide readership. All of this is brilliantly supported and guided by Pauline Matterasso's notes.
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By Robert Carey on 30 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Psychoanalytix on 17 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Like all Penguin books, it seems that text-to-speech is not activated, thus denying it to visually impaird Kindle users. Most of these books have been in their catalogue for many years,so why should they choose to deny themslves sales on old titles? It does not present Penguin in a good light, I think.
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