By Steven Botterill
During this examine, Steven Botterill explores the highbrow dating among the best poet of the fourteenth century, Dante, and the best religious author of the 12th century, Bernard of Clairvaux. Botterill analyzes Bernard's visual appeal as a personality within the remaining cantos of the Paradiso within the context of his medieval popularity as a contemplative mystic, devotee of Mary, and, mainly, a preacher of exceptional eloquence. Botterill's new serious stance will galvanize a reevaluation of Bernard's value within the Commedia.
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Extra info for Dante and the Mystical Tradition: Bernard of Clairvaux in the Commedia
See R a o u l Manselli, ' D a n t e e 1'" Ecclesia Spiritualis"', in Dante e Roma (Florence, 1965), p p . 1 1 5 - 3 5 J David Burr, Olivi and Franciscan Poverty: The Origins of the' Usus Pauper* Controversy (Philadelphia, 1989), pp. 107-8, 172. There are seven quotations attributed to Bernard (in two cases wrongly) in Olivi's Qiiaestiones in secundum librum Sententiarum, edited by B. Jansen, 3 vols. (Ad Claras Aquas, 1922-26). Most of them are from De praecepto et dispensatione. There are also two such quotations in the Quodlibeta (Venice, c.
In other works, such as those of Thomas Aquinas or Albert the Great, Bernard figures as just one auctor among many, and one whose arguments are often contested. From Alexander of Hales or Matthew of Aquasparta, readers might learn that Bernard was a major theologian of grace. Bonaventure and Robert of Basevorn see him, as had John of Salisbury as early as the twelfth century, as the best preacher since Gregory,' vir potens in opere et sermone coram Deo ut creditur, et uti publice notum est coram hominibus' ('a man mighty in deed and word in the presence of God, as we believe, and also, as is well known, in that of men').
200, 233. Chatillon, 'L'lnfluence', p. 283. 22 Like Aquinas before him and many another after him, Bonaventure esteems Bernard above all as a preacher, an evaluation reflected in his choice of sources. One hundred and two of his quotations of Bernard come from the sermons In Cantica canticorum, 99 from those De tempore and De sanctis, 49 from those In laudibus Virginis Matris, and 21 from those De diversis. More than half of Bonaventure's Bernardine citations, then, are taken from sermons. Furthermore, Bonaventure explicitly names Bernard as a master among preachers, excelled only by Gregory the Great.
Dante and the Mystical Tradition: Bernard of Clairvaux in the Commedia by Steven Botterill