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date: 06 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Monastic theology emerged in the very era that saw the great patristic bishop-theologians, from Athanasius to Augustine, and the great ecumenical councils, from Nicaea to Chalcedon. Monastic theologians certainly meditated on the big picture, but more as map-makers than systematicians. The theological task, as they conceived it, was to map precisely how the individual Christian journeys to God. Ultimately, it was a mode of theology that flowed from and flowed back into the practice of mystical contemplation. This chapter traces the history of monastic theology from John Cassian (d. 435) through the Venerable Bede (673–735) and on to Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153).

Keywords: monasticism, asceticism, spirituality, exegesis, John Cassian, Bede, Bernard of Clairvaux

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