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This list relates to the 2017-18 which ended on 18/08/2018
  1. PART ONE: Formation of Medieval Monastic Spirituality

  2. Background reading 2 items
    For background on the Church and society in this period, see the following:
    1. The formation of Christendom - Herrin, Judith 1987

      Book 

  3. Texts for weekly readings 4 items
    The following four books will be referred to by the author’s name in the weekly readings below:
  4. Week One: Foundations: Inheritance from “Late Antiquity” 5 items
    The Monday session will introduce the themes and structure of the seminar, and provide a basic overview of early monasticism before the sixth century career of Benedict of Nursia. On Thursday the focus will be on a discussion of the 9th and 10th conferences of John Cassian, and the life of St. Martin of Tours.
    1. Required readings 4 items
      1. King, pp. 15-82; or Brooke, pp. 25-43; or Lawrence, pp.1-17.

         

        Fry, RB 1980  pp. 3-64.

    2. Recommended reading 1 item
      1. The monastic rules - Augustine, Gerald Bonner (commentary) 2004

        Book 

  5. Week Two: Ora et Labora - St. Benedict of Nursia 5 items
    This session will seek to understand the life and Rule of Benedict of Nursia, and understand the role of the Rule in the formation and nourishment of Christian spirituality. On Monday we will discuss Gregory the Great’s biography of Benedict, and on Thursday discuss the Rule of St. Benedict.
    1. Required readings 4 items
      1. King, pp. 83-102; or Brooke, 44-51; or Lawrence, 18-38.

         

        Fry, RB 1980 pp. 65-112.

         

        Discussion will focus on the following two texts:

      2. Reflection questions:

         

        How does Benedict in his Rule aspire to create a balance between liturgical prayer, reading and manual labour? What virtues and practices does he see as essential to monastic life? How does Gregory the Great present Benedict as embodying the virtues of the Rule?

    2. Additional recommended reading 1 item
      1. The rule of Saint Benedict, a doctrinal and spiritual commentary - Vogüé, Adalbert de, Hasbrouck, John Baptist (trans.) 1983

        Book 

  6. Week Three: Celtic Monastic spirituality: Community, Asceticism and Pilgrimage 8 items
    On Monday we will consider basic themes in the monastic spirituality of the “Celtic” areas of early medieval Europe, with a particular focus on Ireland. For Thursday we will discuss the various texts found in 'The Celtic Monk'.
    1. Required readings 6 items
      1. Lawrence, pp. 39-53.

      2. A history of the Irish church: 400-700 AD - Walsh, John R., Bradley, Thomas 1993

        Book 

      3. Discussion will focus on the following two texts:

      4. Reflection questions:

         

        How are different aspects of Irish monastic spirituality reflected in different literary genres? How are ascetical ideals balanced with the realities of communal life?

    2. Additional recommended reading 2 items
  7. Week Four: Anglo-Saxon and Carolingian synthesis 10 items
    This week will focus on the way Frankish and Anglo-Saxon monasticism combined aspects of Celtic and Benedictine traditions to form a vibrant monastic spiritual and cultural synthesis. The Thursday seminar will focus on discussion of the primary sources by Bede and Rudolph of Fulda.
    1. Required readings 7 items
      1. King, pp. 103-130; or Brooke, pp. 52-85; or Lawrence, pp. 54-82.

      2. Discussion will focus on the following two texts:

      3. Reflection questions:

         

        What does Bede believe to be central to prayer and contemplation, and what role does Scriptural prayer play? How do Bede's and Rudolph's hagiographies, respectively, portray central themes of Benedictine spirituality?

    2. Additional recommended reading 3 items
      1. The crown of monks - David Barry, Smaragdus c2013

        Book  Copy on order

      2. The Frankish Church - Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. 1983

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book

  8. PART TWO: Monastic Spirituality in the High and Later Middle Ages

  9. Overviews 7 items
    The following studies are helpful treatments of aspects of this part of the course
    1. The love of learning and the desire for God: a study of monastic culture - Jean Leclercq, trans. Catharine Misrahi 1982

      Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book

    2. Christian spirituality: Origins to the twelfth century - McGinn, Bernard, Meyendorff, John 1985

      Book 

  10. Week Five: Hermits and the Spirituality of Reform 7 items
    1. Required readings 4 items
      This session will focus on the new eremitical orders of the eleventh century, their reaction to Cluniac forms, and how they looked to the example of the ancient monastic tradition for inspiration in reforming monastic life and contributing to the renewal of the wider church and society. The Thursday seminar will focus on discussion of texts Guigo II the Carthusian, Peter Damian, and Rudolph of Camaldoli.
      1. King, pp. 131-158; or Brooke, 86-99; or Lawrence, 146-157.

         

        Discussion will focus on the following texts:

      2. The ladder of monks: a letter on the contemplative life and, Twelve meditations - Guigo II, Colledge, Edmund (trans.), Walsh, James (trans.) 1979

        Book  Read: Guigo II the Carthusian, The Ladder of Monks, pp. 1-25; 65-86 (digitised)

      3. Camaldolese spirituality: essential sources - Belisle, Peter-Damian 2007

        Book  Read: Peter Damian, Letter 28 “Dominus vobiscum”; Rudolph of Camaldoli, Book of the Eremitical Rule, ch. 1-9; chs. 33-47.

      4. Reflection questions:

         

        How does Guigo set forth the steps of contemplative prayer? According to Peter Damian and Rudolph, what are the central elements of monastic spirituality? How are these elements when lived out by the hermit relevant for the wider Christian community?

    2. Additional recommended reading 3 items
  11. Week Six: Independent Learning Week 1 item
    1. Students should use this week for two purposes:

       

      1) Consolidate the required readings and recommended readings from the first five weeks of the module.

      2) Do research and explore the topic they will choose for the essay, and schedule a meeting with the module coordinator to take place during Week 7.

  12. Week Seven: The Cistercians I : Overview and Bernard of Clairvaux 8 items
    On Monday we will consider an overview of the ideals and goals of the Cistercian movement, and for Thursday discuss selected representative texts of the mystical theology and spirituality of its most famous proponent and articulate spokesman, Bernard of Clairvaux.
    1. Required readings 6 items
      1. King, pp. 159-193; or Brooke, 166-194; or Lawrence, 172-206.

      2. The Cistercians in the Middle Ages - Janet E. Burton, Julie Kerr 2011

        Book  Especially pp. 1-20; 103-148. Available in the Library and as an e-book

      3. Discussion will focus on the following texts:

      4. On Loving God - Bernard of Clairvaux

        Webpage 

      5. Reflection questions:

         

        What aspects of the Benedictine rule were emphasized by the Cistercians? What does Bernard of Clairvaux see as the means and goals of the spiritual life?

    2. Additional recommended reading 2 items
      1. Selected works - Bernard of Clairvaux 1987

        Book 

  13. Week Eight: Cistercians II: Cistercian Ideas of Community, Friendship and Affective Spirituality 8 items
    On Monday we will look at three essays by Caroline Walker Bynum onkey aspects of Cistercian spirituality, and on Thursday we will discuss Aelred of Rievaulx’s 'On Spiritual Friendship'.
    1. Required readings 7 items
      1. "The Cistercian Conception of Community";

        "Did the Twelfth Century Discover the Individual?"; 

        "Jesus as Mother and Abbot as Mother: Some Themes in Twelfth Century Cistercian Writing" -

         

        Found in:

      2. Jesus as mother: studies in the spirituality of the High Middle Ages - Caroline Walker Bynum 1982

        Book  Pp. 59-81; 82-109; 110-169. Available in the Library and as an e-book

      3. Discussion will focus on the following text:

      4. Spiritual friendship - Aelred of Rievaulx, Laker, Mary Eugenia (trans.) 1977

        Book 

      5. The Introduction and Book I are also found online at:

      6. Reflection questions:

         

        What does Aelred mean by "spiritual friendship"? Why is such friendship essential to the Christian spiritual life? How do his ideas illustrate Cistercian ideals and expectations of community life?

    2. Additional recommended reading 1 item
  14. Week Nine: Liturgical Spirituality: Guerric of Igny and Hildegard of Bingen 9 items
    This week we will seek to understand how the texts of the liturgy nourished monastic spirituality, and also served as a source for creative expression and reflection on fundamental aspects of Christian life and theology. The particular focus for Thursday’s discussion will be the 'Symphonia' of Hildegard of Bingen.
    1. Required readings 8 items
      1. - also available in the print edition of The Love of Learning and the Desire for God:

      2. Liturgical sermons - Guerric d'Igny 2006

        Book  Read: Introduction and selections - The Second Sunday for Advent, pp. 7-13

      3. Voice of the living light: Hildegard of Bingen and her world - Newman, Barbara 1998 (electronic book)

        Book  Read: Barbara Newman. “’Sibyl of the Rhine’: Hildegard’s Life and Times”, pp. 1-29; and John Van Engen. “Abbess: ‘Mother and Teacher’”, pp. 30-51.

      4. Discussion will focus on the following text:

      5. Symphonia: a critical ed. of the Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum, Symphony of the harmony of celestial revelations - Hildegard of Bingen, Newman, Barbara (trans.) 1998

        Book  Read: pp. 1-63; 97-137; 230-247; 267-279; 307-314.

      6. Reflection questions:

         

        What are central images used by Hildegard to describe God? How does she employ the structures of the liturgy to express and teach fundamental truths about God? How does her approach combine text and music to nourish the spiritual life?

    2. Additional recommended reading 1 item
      1. Voice of the living light: Hildegard of Bingen and her world - Newman, Barbara 1998 (electronic book)

        Book  The remaining 7 essays not included in required readings for the week.

  15. Week Ten: Regular Canons; Active and Contemplative Life 8 items
    This week will focus on the spirituality of the canons regular in the twelfth century, who sought to combine aspects of monastic life with a new concern for service and edification of neighbour. The focus for Wednesday’s discussion will be The Apologetic Letter of Anselm of Havelberg.
    1. Required readings 6 items
      1. Brooke, pp. 153-165; Lawrence, 160-171.

      2. The Regular Canons - Grover Zinn

        Chapter  pp. 218-228

      3. Discussion will focus on the following text:

      4. The Apologetic Letter - Anselm of Havelberg

        Chapter 

      5. Reflection questions:

         

        How does Anselm see the canon regular communities as representing a spirituality central to the life of the wider church? How does he articulate the "mixed life" as being the ideal expression of the "apostolic life"?

    2. Additional recommended reading 2 items
  16. Week Eleven: The Early Mendicant Movement 8 items
    This week will focus on the thirteenth century mendicant movement, known as the “friars”, with a particular focus on the Dominicans (Monday) and for Thursday the Franciscans, including texts by Thomas of Celano and Bonaventure.
    1. Required readings 7 items
      1. Brooke, pp. 217-234; or Lawrence, 238-278.

      2. Early Dominicans: selected writings - Tugwell, Simon 1982

        Book  Read: "Introduction"

      3. Discussion will focus on the following texts:

      4. The tree of life - Bonaventure

        Book  Pp. 1-8; 34-37; 119-175.

      5. Reflection questions:

         

        According to Thomas of Celano, what are the central aspects of the spirituality of Francis? What does he share with the earlier monastic tradition, and how does he seem to differ? How does Bonaventure's The Tree of Life present an important articulation of the spirituality Francis attempted to live out?

    2. Additional recommended reading 1 item
  17. Week Eleven: Devotio Moderna, Docta Pietas, Imitation of Christ and the final phases of Medieval Monastic Spirituality 6 items
    This session will consider the major emphases of the devotio moderna as both a final articulation of medieval monastic spirituality, and a blueprint for the adaptation of this spirituality to the needs of the laity living in the world. The Wednesday focus will be Thomas à Kempis, 'The Imitation of Christ'.
    1. Required readings 4 items
      1. Devotio moderna: basic writings - Engen, John H. van 2004

        Book  Pp. 1-35

      2. Discussion will focus on the following:

      3. The imitation of Christ - Thomas à Kempis, trans. L. Sherley-Price 1952

        Book 

      4. Reflection questions:

         

        What does Thomas mean by the imitation of Christ? How does one go about it? What are the central virtues in the Christian life? Why are the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, so central to the pursuit of Christian holiness?

    2. Additional recommended reading 2 items
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