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Cistercians, Heresy and Crusade in Occitania, 1145-1229

Cistercians, Heresy and Crusade in Occitania, 1145-1229: Preaching in the Lord's Vineyard

Beverly Mayne Kienzle
Copyright Date: 2001
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 278
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  • Book Info
    Cistercians, Heresy and Crusade in Occitania, 1145-1229
    Book Description:

    Led by the example of Bernard of Clairvaux, Cistercian monks turned their attention to the world outside the monastery walls in response to the threat posed by heretical Christians, in particular the Cathars. The white monks, with other intellectuals, turned to pen, pulpit and popular preaching to counteract heresy, some accepting posts as bishops and papal legates, helping and even directing the Albigensian crusade, and contributing to the formulation of procedures for inquisition. Kienzle examines this important but little-studied aspect of Cistercian history to discover how and why the Order undertook endeavours that drew the monks outside their monastic vocation. The analysis of texts about the preaching campaigns and their contexts illuminate the ways in which medieval monastic authors perceived heresy, preached, and wrote against it. Professor BEVERLY MAYNE KIENZLE teaches at Harvard Divinity School.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-337-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vi-vii)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. viii-xiii)
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xix)
  7. INTRODUCTION Cistercians, Heresy, and Crusade, 1145–1229: Preaching in the Lord’s Vineyard
    (pp. 1-15)

    From 1145 to 1229 Cistercian monks, respected as twelfth-century Europe’s holiest and brightest men, embarked on preaching missions against dissident Christians in southern France. The twelfth century witnessed a remarkable upsurge of religious dissent, and preaching offered the medieval Church its most potent instrument of propaganda. Monastic preachers aspired to quell the opposition with words alone, but their sermons also roused recruits for the holy war of crusading on domestic soil as well as abroad. Public preaching was not at all customary for monks: in fact, ecclesiastical tradition and legislation prohibited it. Preaching was reserved instead to the secular clergy...

  8. APPENDIX TO THE INTRODUCTION Deconstructing: close reading, rhetorical criticism, and historiography of persecution and heresy
    (pp. 16-24)
  9. CHAPTER ONE The Lord’s Vineyard in the Twelfth Century
    (pp. 25-55)

    Cistercian preaching against heresy needs to be viewed within the general setting of twelfth-century France and the specific milieu of monastic culture. This chapter surveys several trends of the twelfth century that underlie the white monks’ role as anti-heretical preachers in the Lord’s vineyard. Chapter Two examines Cistercian writing and preaching against heresy as an out-growth of monastic life and literature, a product of the domestic vineyard.

    A period of transition between the patristic and the scholastic, the monks and the friars, the twelfth century witnessed economic, social, and religious ferment. Lay literacy and spirituality crystallized at the same time...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Monastic Spirituality and Literature: The Domestic Vineyard
    (pp. 56-77)

    When the Cistercians stepped into the Lord’s vineyard, they carried with them patterns of monastic thought, writing and preaching. Immersed in the Scriptures and the Rule of Benedict, the white monks viewed the surrounding world through the lens of the domestic vineyard, its spirituality and symbolist mentality. Imbued with reforming zeal, the Cistercians sought to bring dissident Christians into conformity with the monastic vision of the proper arrangement for society: to convert dwellers in the spiritual Babylon of the world into aspirants toward a heavenly Jerusalem where monks occupied the highest ranks.

    Two types of sources inform our study of...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Bernard of Clairvaux, the 1143/44 Sermons and the 1145 Preaching Mission: From the Domestic to the Lord’s Vineyard
    (pp. 78-108)

    At the opening of his Sermon 65 On the Song of Songs, Bernard of Clairvaux explains to his audience that it is necessary for him to preach a third sermon on Song of Songs 2. 15: ‘Seize for us the little foxes that are destroying the vineyard’. His first sermons, he explains, gave sufficient warning to his brothers so that they could guard against the three sorts of foxes who might ravage their vineyard, interpreted as the vices that could lead them astray on their spiritual journey in the monastic life. However, the abbot expresses his anxiety about the Lord’s...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Henry of Clairvaux, the 1178 and 1181 Missions, and the Campaign against the Waldensians: Driving the Foxes from the Vineyard
    (pp. 109-134)

    Henry – abbot of Hautecombe (1160–76) and then of Clairvaux (1176–79), named cardinal bishop of Albano in 1179 and papal legate in 1181 – did not have the same reservations about leading troops as did his predecessor Bernard of Clairvaux.¹ Under Henry’s leadership, the Cistercian posture in Occitania shifted radically and set an unfortunate pattern. Bernard’s sixth successor as abbot of Clairvaux was deliberately trying to avoid the failure that his predecessor encountered. Furthermore, Henry extended Bernard’s justification of using force in Jerusalem to the campaign against heretics in Occitania. As Yves Congar concluded: ‘La croisade s’est transposée...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Innocent III’s Papacy and the Crusade Years, 1198–1229: Weeding the Vineyard
    (pp. 135-173)

    Another phase of the Cistercian drive against heresy opened in January 1198, when Innocent III became pope,¹ and extended until 1208, when the murder of a Cistercian legate precipitated the advance toward armed intervention in Occitania. At the outset of his papacy, Innocent III under-took initiatives to effect a broad programme of reform, including a wide-spread crusade against the perceived enemies of Christendom. Although papal priorities stressed the crusade to the Holy Land, the fight against heresy intensified as well. In fact, the campaign against heretical Christians in Occitania reached for a time the status of the crusades to the...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Hélinand of Froidmont and the Events of 1229: Planting Virtues in the Vineyard
    (pp. 174-201)

    Previous chapters have centred on Cistercian preachers, legates, bishops, an archbishop, and a cardinal – the foremost ‘clerics of the crusade’, as the Dominican historian M.–H. Vicaire¹ called them. The Cistercian role continued but diminished somewhat after the first decade or so of the crusade: Innocent III, who had urged the white monks toward action, died in 1216; Arnaud Amaury in 1225; Guy of les Vaux-de-Cernay in 1223. A few Cistercian legates were appointed after these men, but during the last years of the crusade, Romano of St Angelo served as legate and presided over the implementation of the...

    (pp. 202-218)

    We have surveyed about eighty-five years of history pertaining to the Cistercian Order’s preaching and other engagement against heresy in Occitania from 1145 to 1229. I first situated monastic preaching in the context of twelfth-century events and currents of thought and their impact on Cistercian thinking and action; and second, within the framework of monastic spirituality and literature. The vineyard image, appearing in a letter where Bernard of Clairvaux employs it to describe turning from the interior vineyard of the monastery to the exterior one of the Church and the world, serves as a unifying motif for the book’s chapters....

    (pp. 219-238)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 239-256)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 257-259)