"Here the 'practical, intellectual and spiritual aspects' oftwelfth-century history are discussed by a historian whoseknowledge of the period and mastery of the art of writing arealmost without equal." History Today
"The combination of synthesis with fresh and vivid work ondetail is one of Southern's particular gifts ...The proportions ofthe book will fit harmoniously into the overarching structureoutlined at the start of the book, but this volume can also standjust as well on its own - already a classic." Reviews inHistory
"The recovery of scholasticism therefore calls for twoqualities: technical expertise, and lucidity of thought andexpression. No historian combines these qualities moreconspicuously than R.W. Southern." Times LiterarySupplement
"This book is more than a synthesis of a life's work ontwelfth-century Western culture by Britain's greatest medievalist -it is the most important book in recent decades on thetwelfth-century renaissance and its significance. This is a book tobe treasured and reflected upon for years to come." Norman F.Cantor, New York University
"That such a sweeping vision is expressed so lucidly, whilesimultaneously conveying the human details and experience of theperiod with a combination of sensitivity and scholarly rigour,justifies the description by its first reviewers: 'masterpiece.'"Journal of Ecclesiastical History
From the Back Cover
‘This is the most important book in recent decades on thetwelfth-century renaissance and its significance.’
—Norman F. Cantor,
New York Univeristy
‘The book is a model of how to combine forceful argumentwith elegant presentation, and is going to be an important vehiclefor conveying an understanding of medieval thought and theChristian enterprise.’
‘Because it is so clear and accessible, it is just whatteachers of medieval culture (whether in Europe or America) havebeen looking for. But Richard Southern is intending much more herethan a superb student text. [This] is a book for everyoneinterested in the origins of modern western culture and the historyof knowledge.’
—Michael Clanchy, University College, London
At the beginning of the twelfth century a group of scholarsbegan an enterprise of unprecedented scope. Their intention was toproduce a definitive body of knowledge that would be as perfect ashumanity’s fallen state permits, and which would provide aview of God, nature, and human conduct, promoting order in thisworld and blessedness in the next. Scholastic Humanism and theUnification of Europe reconsiders this enterprise, and itslong-term effects on European History.
The whole work will be in three volumes. This first is concernedwith the beginnings, in the years between 1060 and 1160, when themain lines of scholastic thought were laid down and its agendaestablished. The book explores the social, intellectual, andpolitical conditions behind the establishment of the new system inthe great schools of learning in France and Italy, and the rewardsthat attracted experts who could both administer the system andmake it known and acceptable to the generality of people whoselives were affected by it. Scholastic Humanism and theUnification of Europe will be a work of seminal importance forthe understanding of the civilization of the Middle Ages, and ofthe evolution of modern European societies.