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Valyermo Abbey

Bernard of Clairvau: On the Life of the Mind

Regular price $19.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $19.95 USD
Eminent scholar and educator John Sommerfeldt has written a book that will be welcomed by students as well as seasoned scholars in the academic world. It is a one-volume study of all of the essential aspects of Bernard of Clairvaux's thought. A key figure in the first half of the twelfth century, Bernard offers us solutions to the epistemological question that arises as a result of our search for happiness and self-fulfillment. Bernard's epistemology is complex. He was a humanist devoted to the classical literary approach to reality that aims at achieving wisdom through the appreciation of beauty. He was also a "mystic," who fostered superrational ways of ascertaining reality: faith, charismatic knowledge, and contemplation. Among the many topics that Sommerfeldt explores are mysticism, humanism, scholasticism, common sense ways of knowing, theology, philosophy, and the Abelard affair. And he emphasizes that Bernard's view of society--and the church--provides the context within which we can best understand his epistemology.