The Benedictines in the Middle Ages

The Benedictines in the Middle Ages

James G. Clark

Personal eBook

Boydell Press



A comprehensive survey of the origins, development, and influence of the most important monastic order in the middle ages.
The men and women that followed the sixth-century customs of Benedict of Nursia (c.480-c.547) formed the most enduring, influential, numerous and widespread religious order of the Latin middle ages. Their liturgical practice, and their acquired taste for learning, served as a model for the medieval church as a whole: while new orders arose, they took some of their customs, and their observant and spiritual outlook, from the Regula Benedicti. The Benedictines may also be counted among the founders of medieval Europe. In many regions of the continent they created, or consolidated, the first Christian communities; they also directed the development of their social organisation, economy, and environment, and exerted a powerful influence on their emerging cultural and intellectual trends.
This book, the first comparative study of its kind, follows the Benedictine Order over eleven centuries, from their early diaspora to the challenge of continental reformation.

James G. Clark is Professor of History, University of Exeter.


8 black and white, 6 line illustrations
392 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monastic Orders
Personal eBook, 9781782044055, June 2011
Hardback, 9781843836230, June 2011
Paperback, 9781843839736, November 2014
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, REL086000, REL010000
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Table of Contents

The Making of a European Order
The Later Middle Ages
Select Bibliography


The author masters with a seldom met richness a wealth of evidence from the infinitude of particular aspects of Benedictine monasticism. This richness not only stems from the broad perspective of the well-read author's tackling the matter, his constant flow of fresh quotations and references to medieval authors of all genres, printed or still in manuscript, but also his discussions and possible explanations carry the note of careful respect for historical truth within reach of historical possibilities. CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW

A masterful work. AMERICAN BENEDICTINE REVIEW, December 2012

(Advances) a distinctive and intensively-researched interpretation of the order's history. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

Impresses from the outset with its detail. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

Many readers will enjoy this book, and it certainly merits a wide audience. It is also a must-read for specialists and is bound to become a key reference in future discussions about ways of telling Benedictinism's story in the Middle Ages. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW
This attractive volume offers a broad survey of the Benedictines and their immense influence on the medieval Church. CHURCH TIMES
Provides a comprehensive introduction and (is) an invaluable resource to all students of the European Middle Ages. Highly recommended. CHOICE
A work of impeccable and original scholarship. (It) is an especially recommended and seminal contribution to academic library World History, European History, Catholic History, and Medieval Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists. LIBRARY BOOKWATCH

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