Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

2011 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Bernard of Clairvaux

  • Constant J. Mews
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9729-4_81

Abstract

Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux 1115–1153, was one of the most eloquent preachers and spiritual writers of the medieval period. His involvement in public affairs led him into conflict with two of the most distinguished schoolmen of his day, namely with Peter Abelard (1079–1142) at the Council of Sens (1141) and Gilbert of Poitiers (1076–1154) at the Council of Reims (1148). Nonetheless, he offered his own understanding on what he calls consideratio, strongly shaped by his reading of Augustine and other Church Fathers, of enormous influence over subsequent centuries. In particular, his emphasis on the role of experience and of desire for God in the spiritual life, and on the nature and character of love, would offer a perspective on the path to wisdom very different from that associated with either Aristotle or Boethius.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constant J. Mews
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Studies in Religion and TheologySchool of Historical Studies Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia