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The Liturgical Sermons

The Reading-Cluny Collection, 1 of 2; Sermons 85-133
Aelred of Rievaulx; Translated by Daniel Griggs, with an introduction by Marjory Lange and Marsha Dutton

ISBN: 9780879071813, CF081P
Details: 432 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 7/8
Publication Date: 02/15/2021

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Aelred (1110–1167) served Rievaulx Abbey, the second Cistercian monastery in England, for twenty years as abbot. During his abbacy he wrote thirteen treatises, some offering spiritual guidance and others seeking to advise King Henry II. He also wrote thirty-one sermons as a commentary on Isaiah 13–16 and 182 surviving liturgical sermons, mostly addressed to his monks.

This volume contains the first half of Aelred's ninety-eight liturgical sermons from the Reading-Cluny collection, Sermons 85 through 133. For the most part, the collection follows the liturgical year, beginning in this volume with three sermons for Advent and ending with five for Pentecost and three for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. Sermons 134 through 182, from the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24) through the Feast of All Saints, will appear in CF 87. These sermons appear to contain evidence of Aelred's editorial additions to the autograph of the sermons, as he added selections from patristic and medieval authors within the sermons and between them.

Daniel Griggs earned an MA in medieval studies and a PhD in Byzantine theology, both from the University of Leeds. He teaches Latin at Butte College near Chico, California, and translates medieval texts from Greek and Latin. He previously translated Saint Bernard's Sermones de Diversis published in CF 68 as Monastic Sermons.

Marjory Lange has been a professor of English/humanities at Western Oregon University for twenty-three years. She is also an accomplished violist and violinist who regularly performs in Oregon and southern Washington. After publishing Telling Tears in the English Renaissance (Brill, 1996), she returned to medieval monastic and spiritual literature as her true métier and regularly presents papers on Aelred at the annual Cistercian Studies Conference in Kalamazoo. She is currently completing an article on the difficulties of translating Latin words about sweetness.

Marsha Dutton is the executive editor of Cistercian Publications and a long-time student of Aelred of Rievaulx and other Cistercian authors. She is at work on a book about twelfth-century Cistercian laments.

“This book contributes to Aelredian scholarship by providing a crucial tool for the study of Aelred's late sermons. The translation is clear and accessible, and the introduction and notes help to elucidate the evolution of Aelred's thought over the whole of his sermon literature.”
Ella Johnson, author of This is My Body: Eucharistic Theology and Anthropology in the Writings of Gertrude the Great of Helfta, St. Ambrose University

“This volume is a wonderful new resource for accessing the preaching of one of the most appealing abbots of the middle ages. It makes available for the first time in English Aelred’s long-lost and recently found discourses on many of the great events of the monastic calendar. Here we see the bread of God’s word as it was prepared by one of the great biblical imaginations of medieval monasticism. These sermons richly represent early Cistercian thought and also give us unique new insights into how monks in the twelfth century dealt with their authoritative sources. As we see Aelred work with his sources in these discourses, we see a wonderful new illustration of the active intellectual and theological life of the early Cistercians.”
Fr. Joseph Van House, Cistercian Abbey, Our Lady of Dallas

“These sensitively rendered sermons, from Advent through Trinity Sunday, bring Aelred’s rich appreciation of the liturgical year to modern readers. Daniel Griggs’ translations are measured, thoughtful, and evocative; they seem to capture the warm and learned voice of Abbot Aelred with his brothers in chapter. The rich and learned introduction by Marjory Lange and Marsha Dutton is invaluable to readers at every level. This work is particularly illuminating in dealing with subtle authorship issues in the Reading-Cluny Collection.”
J. Stephen Russell, Professor of English, Hofstra University

"By making this literature available in clear, contemporary English translations, Cistercian Publications is allowing not only scholars but a broad spectrum of readers to engage with this significant portion of the legacy of one of the wisest and most attractive figures of the early Cistercian movement, and so to challenge and inspire a far larger audience than he was able to reach, or could even imagine reaching, in his own time."
Catholic Books Review