A Benedictine Reader shares the treasures of the Benedictine tradition through the collaboration of a dozen scholars. It provides a broad and deep sense of the reality of Benedictine monasticism using primary sources in English translation. The texts included are drawn from many different genres and originally written in six different languages. The introduction to each of the chapters aims to situate each author and text and to make connections with other texts and studies within and outside the Reader.
This second volume of A Benedictine Reader looks at Benedictine monks and nuns from many angles, as founders, reformers, missionaries, teachers, spiritual writers and guides, playwrights, scholars, and archivists. In four centuries, they went from Bavaria to North America and Africa, from England and Spain to Australia, adapting to new environments. Committed to the liturgy by their profession, they played an important role in the liturgical renewal that culminated at Vatican II. Rooted in God, church, and their surroundings, they showed remarkable resilience in the face of wars, confiscations, suppression, and exile. Their impact has been deep and stabilizing, and their story is a microcosm of the history of the church in modern times.
Hugh Feiss, OSB, is a monk of the Monastery of the Ascension in Jerome, Idaho. He earned his licentiate in philosophy and a doctorate in theology at Sant’Anselmo. He served as managing editor and contributor for the series Victorine Texts in Translation (Brepols). He published Essential Monastic Wisdom, a thematic anthology of Benedictine and Cistercian texts (Harper-San-Francisco, 2000). For Cistercian Publications he has translated works of Peter of Celle and Achard of Saint Victor and collaborated on Saint Mary of Egypt: Three Medieval Lives in Verse, and The Lives of Monastic Reformers, 1 and 2. He was co-editor and contributor of A Benedictine Reader, 530–1530 (Cistercian Publications, 2019).
Maureen M. O’Brien is a professor in the Department of History at Saint Cloud State University, where she teaches ancient and medieval European history. She edited Stephen of Muret’s Maxims (CS 177), Bernard of Clairvaux’s The Parables and The Sentences (CF 55), and A Benedictine Reader: 530–1530 (CS 275), and she collaborated with Hugh Feiss, OSB, and Ronald Pepin on The Lives of Monastic Reformers, 1 and 2 (CS 222 and 230).