The Chimaera of His Age: Studies on Bernard of Clairvaux

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"I am a kind of chimera of my age, neither cleric nor layman. I have long since stripped off the way of life, but not the habit, of a monk. I do not wish to write about myself what I suppose you have heard from others: what I am doing, what I am up to, the crises in the world I am involved in, indeed the precipices down which I am being cast." From a letter by Bernard
Like many, a devout Christian saint from Augustine in the fifth century on throughout the entire Middle Ages, Bernard of Clairvaux longed above all else to live a quiet life of monastic prayer and contemplation, free from the entanglement of the surrounding world. And yet, like Augustine six centuries before him, Bernard found himself drawn into most of the major events of his time.