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Bernard of Clairvaux: Selected Works (The Classics of Western Spirituality) Paperback – 1987

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Latin (translation)

From the Back Cover

Here in a new translation by G.R. Evans are the writings that have had such a major role in shaping the Western monastic tradition and influencing the development of Catholic mystical theology. Together with an introduction by the master of Bernard studies, jean Leclercq, they comprise a volume that occupies and place of special importance in the chronicle of the history of the western spiritual adventure.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809129175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809129171
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Anyone, I mean anyone searching for a greater understanding on such things as Loving God, Humility and Pride,or conversion of Heart, or many other Topic, should Consider this book as a treasury of Wisdon. St. Bernard takes complicated ideas and concepts and makes them clear for those of us without the Saintly Mind. I would certantly say that his writings are some of the best in All of Christian history. This translation is consice and leaves nothing of importance out, I commend the translator on this edition. My hopes are that many will find this book a great help in your own Spiritual Journey.
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It is hard to quantify the enormous value I have gleaned from studying from the classic spiritual writings. The Christian community has such a wealth of wisdom in her history and I am so very grateful and fortunate to draw from this wonderfully rich and deep well .

The HarperCollins Spiritual Classics series is edited by Emilie Griffin and includes a number of writings from the Christian tradition. Some of the titles in the series follow: John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, John and Charles Wesley, William Law, and the subject of this review, Bernard of Clairvaux.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) was a Cistercian (Trappist) monk and founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy. He was a very distinguished and influential leader during the course of his life and left a vast collection of writings that have significant impact upon the shaping of Western monasticism and Christian mystical traditions. It is said that his writings had a profound effect on the likes of Martin Luther and John Calvin. This volume in the HarperCollins Spiritual Classics series, bearing his name, is an accessible introduction to some of Bernard's foundational writings that shaped Western religious thought and culture.

This small book introduces the reader to four primary works of Bernard; they are On Conversion, On Loving God, Sermons on the Song of Songs, and Selections from His Letters.

It is hard for me to choose a favorite chapter as each of these writings has influenced me in uniquely specific ways at different points of my spiritual journey. If I were pressed to choose one writing however, I would On Loving God as it is a teaching that continues to circulate in my memory and affect my daily living more than some of the others.
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While Bernard is often known for his association with early church politics this book presents a clear description of his theology and spirituality. The choosen excerpts from his own writings are translated in a easy to read, enjoyable format.
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academic. clear exposition of a peculiar medieval thinker
the series is in itself an amazing opportunity to go beyond a first contact with the author without being extremely hard to swallow
I find it useful although I usually regret the minimal attention to the biography and circumstances behind the theological and poetic production of an author
A nice chance to get in touch with Bernard's theology
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Bernard of Clairvaux was very much a mystic who gave all of us ways to celebrate Christ and His Church in our lives." When God grants us the grace of a sweet familiarity with him, so that we can live better lives in accordance with the relationship, we lift our heads from the dust with greater confidence so as to kiss the hand of our benefactor as people do---"p.111 Much of the book is filled with the spirit and joy of contemplation.
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All medieval scholars AND all Christian thinkers who are not all scholars at all should read these writings. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote beautiful prose, and while most medieval Christian writings feel puritanical or superstitious these days, Bernard's work reads like it was written last week by someone who knows The Lord.
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An excellent book for anyone seeking to use the Early Church Fathers as mentors in learnig to know God better. The book includes writings of St. Bernard that focus on a deeper intimate relationship with God. G.R. Evans provides a brief introduction of the writings as well as a short biography on St. Bernard. Well edited and easy to understand.
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