- Paperback: 159 pages
- Publisher: Cistercian Pubns (April 15 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0879079703
- ISBN-13: 978-0879079703
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 200 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #197,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship Paperback – Apr 15 2010
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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).
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.