Best Books of the Month Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Subscribe & Save Introducing Handmade New Kitchen Scale from AmazonBasics Amazon Gift Card Offer redoaks redoaks redoaks  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage UnchartedBundle Shop Now Learn more
Aelred Of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $3.81 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiri... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by booksaversva
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Underlining throughout, otherwise clean and tight. Your purchase benefits world-wide relief efforts of Mennonite Central Committee.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $5.54
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship (Cistercian Studies series) Paperback – April 1, 2010

8 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$16.13 $9.48

"The Great Reformer" by Austen Ivereigh
A gracefully written and meticulously researched account of Francis's life. Check out "The Great Reformer", by Austen Ivereigh. See more by Austen Ivereigh
$16.14 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship (Cistercian Studies series)
  • +
  • On Marriage and Family Life
Total price: $31.14
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


This new edition provides an especially good introduction, extensive bibliography of sources, translations and secondary studies and a crisp, new translation.
Bonnie Thurston, Cistercian Studies Quarterly

This small text provides much to glean, ponder, and in which to delight.
American Benedictine Review

About the Author

Marsha L. Dutton, professor of medieval literature and director of graduate studies in English at Ohio University, is a longtime student of the works of Aelred of Rievaulx and of other twelfth-century Cistercian writers. She is associate editor of Cistercian Studies Quarterly. In addition to her many articles on Cistercian thought, Dutton has written the introduction to Vita Aelredi (CF 57) and edited Aelred's The Historical Works and Lives of the Northern Saints (CF 56, 71) as well as preparing a critical edition of Aelred's Pastoral Prayer (CF 73). She was one of the editors of Truth as Gift: Studies in Cistercian History Honoring John R. Sommerfeldt (CS 204).


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Cistercian Publications (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879079703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879079703
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 8 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David M. Mayeux on October 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
St. Ælred of Rievaulx's Christianization of Cicero's "On Friendship" should be a minor Christian classic read by all who want to deepen friendships and faith. Immensely popular as the Abbot of Rievaulx, a medieval English Cistercian monastery, Ælred wrote this three part dialogue on christian friendship, a theological and practical handbook for Cistercian novices called _The Mirror of Charity_, histories of English saints and kings, poetry, dozens of sermons richly endued with wisdom and other works, all well received not only by monastics but people throughout 12th century Christendom.

_Spiritual Friendship_ was written primarily to his monastic brothers in response to questions about the propriety of friendship within the enclosure. Ælred not only endorsed monastic friendship in _Spiritual Friendship_, the saint makes it a vital path on which monk and every Christian travel in learning fraternal charity. He outlines the differences between true and false friendships, gives examples of scriptural and classical friendships, highlights virtue as the goal of friendship, and even counsels how difficult friendships can heal or be ended without drama, if it comes to that. Ultimately, he reveals friendship as another schola caritatis--a school of love--in which as friends learn to love each other, learn to love all people, and ultimately to love God as He ought to be loved.

In an age in which we "friend" people online with no more than a click of the mouse, St Ælred's work on what makes true and lasting friendship the path of virtue and the path to God is a necessary clarion call not only to all Christians, but to all people who find themselves alone in a sea of so-called friends.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barry N. Bishop on April 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As most know there are several kinds or aspects of love, and perhaps the most crucial is represented by the Greek word, philia, usually translated as "friendship". Unfortunately that word often is used to describe mere acquaintances or associates. Aelred of Rievaulx, a Twelfth Century Cistercian abbot who lived in the north of England, wrote "Spiritual Friendship" to explore the deeper meanings of this form of love particularly as it could and should exist among the monks of his order. He elevates it to a status it probably should have among us all.

The topic apparently was very important to him because he returned to it several times, only completing the book shortly before his death in 1167. The treatise is written in the form of a dialogue between an abbot and several monks and it takes place as three different conversations. The conversations may be fictionalized but the personae in them probably were based on monks Aelred knew. He drew on existing sources who wrote on the topic, including especially Cicero, Ambrose, and Augustine, and he also refers to scripture frequently. His own passion for the topic is evident and his writing, considering that it is medieval, is human and warm even over nine hundred years later. The dialogue partners even engage in some teasing and humor. Lawrence Braceland's translation is among the most recent and readable.

Aelred discusses the importance of friendship among monks but in a way that shows its significance in the fullness and maturity of any human life. Discussions include how friendship begins, how it comes to maturity, and the qualities needed to keep it strong and mutually supportive. The book is valuable in itself as an historical and church artifact, but it might be just as valuable today to promote thinking about what friendship could and should mean for people far removed from the Middle Ages but not from similar human needs.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Noah Moerbeek on July 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
Aelred of Rievalux work on Spiritual Friendship presents the most noble presentation of friendship I have ever read. In fact it is so noble, incredible and rare that one could say that he refers to intimacies between persons so great that contemporary culture would be inclined to describe such relations as being soul mates or kindred spirits. He repeats this maxim with great frequency, that true friendship is for two persons to have “one heart and one soul, wishing and not wishing for the same things”.

The work itself is only 76 pages, there is a 50 page scholarly introduction put on to the start of the book. I grew tired of reading it after 25 pages in and skipped the rest of it. The work itself is divided up into three smaller books and all are written in the form of a conversation between monks.

Aelred makes constant references to holy scripture to both elaborate on friendship, produce examples of great friends (Jonathan and Davids friendship is central to the overall work) and the type of people to not make friends with. He also cites with great frequency the writings of St Ambrose and Ciceros classic treatise on friendship.

The book is full of solid wisdom for example:
"Divine authority commands that many more be received to the clasp of charity than to the embrace of friendship. By the law of charity we are ordered to welcome to the bosom of love not only our friends but also our enemies. But we call friends only those to whom we have no qualm about entrusting our heart and all its contents, while these friends are bound to us in turn by the same inviolable law of loyalty and trustworthiness.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship (Cistercian Studies series)
This item: Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship (Cistercian Studies series)
Price: $16.14
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: spiritual growth