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Thomas Merton and St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Thomas Merton and St. Bernard of Clairvaux
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  Track Title Length
The First Life of Bernard by William of St. Thierry 00:03:49


Thomas Merton and St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Introduction by James Finley, Ph.D.

4 Lectures on 2 CDs

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, O.Cist. (1090–1153) is one of the most important figures in the history of Christianity: a founder, reformer, and Doctor of the Church. Now, you can take Thomas Merton, renowned mystic and follower of St. Bernard, as your guide in exploring the life and theology of St. Bernard.

St. Bernard’s impact on Christianity is wide-reaching: he was the patron saint of the Knights Templar, and he deeply influenced such figures as Hildegard of Bingen. Like St. Bernard, Thomas Merton was a Cistercian, a group of religious men and women devoted to the monastic life. In this course, Merton delivers a series of lectures to other Cistercians at the Abbey of Gethsemani. As you listen to Merton, you will join his students in the classroom.

Founded in 1098 at Cîteaux, the Cistercian Order sought to restore the foundational Rule of St. Benedict. After entering the Cistercian Order, St. Bernard became the Abbot of Clairvaux, where he revived the monastic life. In this course, you will look at The First Life of Bernard, an account of Bernard’s life written by his great friend William of St-Thierry. Next, you will look at St. Bernard’s conversion story. You will also explore Bernard’s letters and the ascetic life, both in Bernard’s time and ours.

Those looking to expand their knowledge of the history of Christianity will find this course fascinating. Listen to one great Cistercian speak on another. Note: These lectures were recorded live in the open-air classrooms of Gethsemani where Merton gave instruction. One of the recordings contains some distortion from the wind.

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