Bernard of Clairvaux on the Life of the Mind

Front Cover
Newman Press, 2004 - Philosophy - 197 pages
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 human 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 arc 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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Truth as Gift
Beauty and the Pursuit of Truth
The Roles of Reason

8 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

John R. Sommerfeldt, Professor of History at the University of Dallas, is the founder of the International Medieval Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

Bibliographic information