Parables: Bernard of Clairvauxs Mapping of Spiritual by Birkedal Bruun, M.

By Birkedal Bruun, M.

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Additional resources for Parables: Bernard of Clairvauxs Mapping of Spiritual Topography (Brill's Studies in Itellectual History)

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B. Mapping biblical topography: Jerome’s etymologies For our next two examples we shall turn to somewhat more stylized landscapes, thereby leaving the utmost corporeality in favour of more stratified representations. We shall also turn to more explicitly cartographical representations of biblical landscapes. In von den Brincken’s words, “Die Kartographie des Abendlandes steht im Mittelalter durch rund ein Jahrtausend und bis ins 13. ”17 It is telling that two of the first cartographic endeavours within Western Christianity stem from figureheads in the field of exegesis.

The question left floating in the air is whether Lubac indeed exhausts Cassian’s passage in designating this as unconscious wavering. But then this is not a study of Cassian but of Bernard—an author in whom there is no unconscious wavering, apart from what is deliberately proposed and finely chiselled. It is to him that we shall now turn. 3. Bernardine exegeses Heller has scrutinized Bernard’s employment of the four-fold exegesis. She finds that his texts attest to literal, tropological, and anagogical interpretations and exclude the allegorical.

This is a universe composed of different elements, first and foremost biblical material, Patristic elaboration, and intra- as well as extra-mural experience. Bernard the cartographer is identical with Bernard the biblical appropriator. The Bible offers a topography composed of a range of topoi: Paradise, Nod, Egypt, Babylon, the Promised Land, the chamber of the bridegroom, the fields where he tends his flock, the stable in Bethlehem, Golgotha, and the tomb. These loci constitute co-ordinates in a geographical whole which is at the same time a soteriological whole.

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