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Liturgical Press

William of St. Thierry: Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

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The Epistle to the Romans was a favorite text of medieval commentators, especially in an age concerned with the theology of grace. William of Saint Thierry's Exposition is a thoroughly monastic text. In it the twelfth-century monk is concerned, not with dialectic or scholastic disputation, but with something far more personal: humility of heart and the recovery of the image of God in fallen humankind. Only when a person is open to God's grace can growth occur. William is convinced of this. He hopes to convince us of it. He sings the praises of God's grace. He combs Scripture for insights on the workings of grace. Several times in the course of the commentary, he shifts from narrative to address God directly. In doing so, he adds a personal, intimate touch to a literary genre which was soon to become settled in the impersonal methodology of the Schools.