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Bernard of Clairvaux's Broad Impact on Medieval Culture

Mediaeval Studies v. 13

By (author) M.Kilian Hufgard
Format: Hardback
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd, New York, United States
Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Published: 30th Jun 2001
Dimensions: w 159mm h 235mm d 13mm
Weight: 386g
ISBN-10: 0773476911
ISBN-13: 9780773476912
Barcode No: 9780773476912
Synopsis
Mediaeval art historians show varying degrees of interest in the aesthetics of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Some pronounce him "Philistine" for his apparent lack of appreciation of art and beauty. Others see his monastic ascetism as a negative influence on 12th century culture. Some of these evaluations are made using the academic aesthetic notion that beauty is the objective of art. Others are made using certain controvertible modern theories, methods and criteria which are foreign to the mediaeval mind. This study examines Bernard's wisdom regarding beauty and goodness: his idea that the goodness shining forth from a true being or creation that is perceived as beauty, as a thing of joy, as a true aesthetic response. This "true thing" differs widely from a false thing, the intent of which is focused primarily on the glamorous, the spectacular, and/or self-interest, and which is poorly conceived and poorly made. The essays attempt to show the many occasions on which Bernard recognizes the presence of beauty shining forth for a variety of true beings. The volume is illustrated.

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