Bibliography B: New Theology and early Cistercians


DARROUZÈS, J. (éd. & tr.) : SYMÉON le Nouveau Théologien : Chapitres théologiques, gnostiques et pratiques (Sources chrétiennes no.51) (Paris 1957).

Greek text with French introduction and translation of the 225 chapters.

LOSSKY, Vladimir : The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (London 1957).

His original book (in French) has been translated by the Fellowship of St.Alban and St.Sergius.  It deals with the subject thematically, using examples from the early Greek Fathers through to modern Russians.

DARROUZÈS, J. (éd. & tr.) : SYMÉON le Nouveau Théologien : Traités théologiques et éthiques (Sources chrétiennes nos. 122 & 129) (Paris1966-7) 2 vols.

Greek text with French introduction and translation of: vol.1: Theological Discourses 1-3 and Ethical Discourses 1-3;  vol.2: Ethical Discourses 4-15. 

GOUILLARD, Jean : Constantin Chrysomallos sous le masque de Syméon le Nouveau Théologien ;

IN : GOUILLARD, Jean : La vie religieuse à Byzance (London 1981) pp.313-327.

This article (from 1973: Travaux et Mémoires vol.5) says that some of Chrysomallos’ work can be found in Discourses attributed to Symeon the New Theologian.

The book is a collection of many of his articles on religion in Byzantium.

McGUCKIN, Paul (transl.): SYMEON the New Theologian: The Practical and Theological Chapters and the Three Theological Discourses (Cistercian Studies Series CS 41) (Kalamazoo, Michigan 1982).

An English translation of pieces that give an insight into his preoccupations, plus an introduction and a bibliography.

TURNER, H.J.M. : St. Symeon the New Theologian and Spiritual Fatherhood (Leiden 1990).

This allows entry to some of his thought and practice (with bibliography).

GOLITZIN, Alexander (transl.): St. SYMEON the New Theologian: On the Mystical Life: The Ethical Discourses, vol.1: The Church and the Last Things (Crestwood, N.Y. 1995).

This is an annotated English translation of Discourses 1,2,3,10 and 14.

ALFEYEV, Hilarion:  St. Symeon the New Theologian and the Orthodox Tradition (Oxford 2000)

This comparative study of the theology, exegesis, sacramental ecclesiology and monastic practice of some of the Greek Fathers on the one hand and of Symeon the New Theologian on the other, aims to prove that the latter’s mysticism, his doctrines of illumination and deification, his emphasis on the spiritual importance of baptism and the Eucharist etc., represent the continuation (and enhancement) of an old Greek spiritual tradition.  (Large bibliography.) 


DAVISON, Ellen S. (ed. RICHARDS, Gertrude R.): Forerunners of St. Francis and other studies (London 1928).

These studies and fragments, edited posthumously, include work on early Cistercians, as well as on Bruno, Etienne de Muret, Norbert, the Humiliati, the Waldensians et al.  The book also has a well-documented sketch of social life in 13th-century France and a bibliography.

DUVERNAY, Roger : Cîteaux, Vallombreuse et Etienne Harding;

IN : Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis, vol.8 (Roma 1952) pp.379-495.

A scholarly comparison of the similarities between the communities of Cîteaux and Vallombrosa, a discussion of possible contacts and a look at Stephen Harding’s Italian journey (with bibliography).

MEADE, Denis : From Turmoil to Solidarity: the Emergence of the Vallombrosan Monastic Congregation;

IN : The American Benedictine Review, vol.19 (St.Paul, Minnesota 1968) pp.323-57.

He concentrates on Vallombrosa’s structural and administrative development (and delights in calling its early troublesome zealots “the Men from Shady Valley”).

LEYSER, Henrietta : Hermits and the New Monasticism: a study of religious communities in Western Europe 1000-1150 (London 1984).

This book is about the hermits who popularised a return to an apostolic life, the organisation of their hermitages and their frequent development into monasteries (plus map and bibliography).



WILLIAMS, Watkin : The First Cistercian Era;

IN : Journal of Theological Studies, vol.32 (Oxford 1930) pp.56-61.

The development of Cistercian ideals and institutions in the early period.

Ordre de Cîteaux (Commission d’Histoire) : Notes sur les Sources de l’Histoire de l’Ordre (Westmalle 1947).

A small pamphlet on the available materials.

LEFÈVRE, Jean A. : Que savons-nous du Cîteaux primitif?

IN : R.H.E., vol.51 (Louvain 1956) pp.5 – 41.

He casts doubt on the objectivity of the Exordium Parvum, and on the sequence of events that led to the establishment of the new order.

van DAMME, Jean-Baptiste : Autour des origines cisterciennes;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.20 (Westmalle 1958) pp.37-60; pp.153-168; + pp.374-390; & vol.21 (Westmalle 1959) pp.70-86; + pp.137-156.

He distinguishes different stages in the evolution of the Carta Caritatis, refutes much of J. Lefèvre’s thesis and tries to rehabilitate the Exordium Parvum.

van DAMME, Jean-Baptiste : Formation de la constitution cistercienne;

IN : Studia Monastica, vol.4 (Montserrat, Barcelona 1962) pp.111-137.

He compares the constitutional situation at Cluny, Molesme and Cîteaux; and adds more thoughts on the Carta Caritatis.

LECLERCQ, Jean : Les intentions des fondateurs de l’Ordre cistercien;

IN : Collectanea Cisterciensia, vol.30 (Westmalle 1968) pp.233-271.

Contemporary views of, and the founders’ hopes for, the new order.  An English translation of this article is published in the next entry (see below).

PENNINGTON, M.B. (ed.): The Cistercian Spirit: a symposium (Cistercian Studies Series no.3) (Shannon 1970).

A collection of papers and articles.

ELDER, E. Rozanne (ed.): The New Monastery: Texts and Studies on the Earliest Cistercians (Cistercian Fathers series no.60) (Kalamazoo, Michigan & Spencer, Mass. 1998).

Translated extracts from, and modern articles on, the foundation texts.



PRESSE, A.: Saint Etienne Harding;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.1 (Westmalle 1934) pp.21-30; + pp.85-94.

The first part contains his biography; the second part evaluates his enormous contribution to the success of the order.

FOLZ, Robert : Le problème des origines de Cîteaux;

IN : Mélanges SAINT BERNARD (XXIVe Congrès de l’association bourgignonne des sociétés savantes, Dijon 1953) (Dijon 1954) pp.284-294.

A straightforward account of Robert’s work.

KINSELLA, Nivard : St. Robert, a monk in a changing world;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.24 (Westmalle 1962) pp.3-10.

Robert’s reaction to the needs of his time.



LE BAIL, Anselme : L’ordre de Cîteaux, “la Trappe.” (Paris 1947).

An account of Cistercian and Trappist life, with a short history of the order.

LEKAI, Louis J. : The White Monks, a History of the Cistercian Order (Okauchee, Wisconsin 1953).

This contains a general history of the order, chapters on each aspect of Cistercian life, English translations of the Exordium Parvum and the Carta Caritatis and a bibliography.

BOUYER, Louis (tr. LIVINGSTONE, Elizabeth A) : The Cistercian Heritage (London 1958).

An excellent work on many 12th-century Cistercians, including Bernard, Guerric and Isaac.

The Community of Azul, Argentina (tr. AGNES, M.): The Monastic Community in the Movements of Cluny and Cîteaux;

IN : Cistercian Studies, vol.4 (Spencer, Mass. 1969) pp.101-141.

An introduction to the importance and different merits of the two ways.

de PINTO, Basil : The Twelfth-century Benedictines and Cistercian Monasticism;

IN : Cistercian Studies, vol.4 (Spencer, Mass. 1969) pp.177-188.

Another well-balanced estimate of the value of both orders.

LOUF, André (transl. KINSELLA, Nivard): The Cistercian Way (Cistercian Studies series no.76) (Kalamazoo, Michigan 1989).

This short introduction to Cistercian spirituality includes 7 pages of translated extracts from the anonymous 12th-century De Domo Interiori seu De Conscientia.

MATARASSO, Pauline (transl.) : The Cistercian World: Monastic Writings of the Twelfth Century (London 1993).

English translations of selected writings by Bernard, Guillaume de Saint-Thierry, Guerric, Aelred, Isaac and others, with a helpful introduction.

de WAAL, Esther: The Way of Simplicity: The Cistercian Tradition (London 1998).

This little study of Cistercian writings and values refers most frequently to 12th-century authors or to Thomas Merton.

WILLIAMS, David H.: The Cistercians in the Early Middle Ages (Leominster, Herefordshire 1998).

A huge compilation of information about medieval Cistercian history, particularly their economic history, to celebrate the 9th centenary of their foundation (with maps and a vast bibliography).



LUDDY, Ailbe J. : Life and Teaching of St. Bernard (Dublin 1927).

A heavy, detailed hagiography.

WILLIAMS, Watkin W. : Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (Manchester 1935).

An erudite hagiography.

Commission d’Histoire de l’Ordre de Cîteaux : BERNARD de CLAIRVAUX (Paris 1953).

It is massive, with articles on every aspect of his life, and a bibliography.

JAMES, Bruno S. : Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, an essay in biography (London 1957).

Bernard as monk and indefatigable churchman.

LECLERCQ, J. : St. Bernard et l’esprit cistercien (Maîtres spirituels no.36) (Paris 1966).

A popular biography, with some translated extracts and a bibliography.

BREDERO, Adriaan H. (tr. BRUINSMA, R.) : Bernard of Clairvaux: between cult and history (Edinburgh 1996).

His researches try to disentangle the biography from the hagiography.  There are also three particular studies: Bernard’s relations with the Abbots of Cîteaux, his relations with Cluny and his expectations of Clairvaux.  There is a long bibliography.



PATMORE, Marianne C. & Coventry (tr.): Saint Bernard on the Love of God (2nd ed. London 1884).

As well as On Loving God (a rather heavily scholastic book, hiding some of its beauty), there are extracts from his sermons on the Song of Songs.

LEWIS, George (tr.): SAINT BERNARD: On Consideration (Oxford 1908).

He is eloquent on the duties of every Christian and in particular of the Pope.  This is an urgent call for reform.  The 5th book considers theological doctrine and the experience of God.

GARDNER, Edmund G. (ed. & tr.): The Book of Saint Bernard on the Love of God (London 1916).

This has the Latin text as well as the English translation.  It is more complete and reliable, but less readable, than Mrs.Patmore’s.

WILLIAMS, Watkin W. (ed.): Thoughts of St. Bernard of Clairvaux for Every Day (London 1928).

366 spoonfuls of Bernard’s best medicine: will a dictum a day keep the devil at bay?

WILLIAMS, Watkin W. (ed. & tr.): Of Conversion: a sermon to the clergy by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (London 1938).

This has the Latin text and English translation of a powerful call to repentance and to a new spiritual life, both for the individual and for the church.

BURCH, George Bosworth (tr.): The Steps of Humility, by Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, translated with introduction and notes as a study of his epistemology (Cambridge, Mass. 1942).

The Latin text and English translation of his De Gradibus Humilitatis are preceded by an extensive study of his philosophical position (with bibliography).

A Religious of C.S.M.V. (tr.): SAINT BERNARD: On the Song of Songs (London 1952).

This is a condensed, translated version of Bernard’s sermons on the Song of Solomon, which are interesting both as allegorical exegesis and as an insight into his character and his mysticism.

JAMES, Bruno S. : The Personality of Saint Bernard as revealed in his Letters;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.14 (Westmalle 1952) pp.30-34.

Extracts translated into English from Bernard’s letters.

A Monk of Our Lady of the Holy Cross (tr.): St. Bernard on the Holy Spirit;

IN : Monastic Studies, vol.1 (Berryville, Virginia 1963) pp.1-8.

A small but useful selection of extracts in English.

BERNARD of CLAIRVAUX : Treatises I (Cistercian Fathers Series no.1) (Shannon 1970).

The English translation, with introduction, of his Apologia, On Precept and Dispensation and some pieces on the liturgy (with a bibliography).

CALLEROT, Françoise, CHRISTOPHE, Jean, HUILLE, Marie-Imelda & VERDEYEN, Paul (éd. & tr.) : BERNARD de CLAIRVAUX: L’Amour de Dieu ; La Grâce et le Libre Arbitre (Sources chrétiennes no.393) (Paris 1993).

Latin texts, French translations and introductory studies of De Diligendo Deo and Liber de Gratia et Libero Arbitrio.

LECLERCQ, J., ROCHAIS, H. & TALBOT, C.H. (éd.);  VERDEYEN, Paul  & FASSETTA, Raffaele (tr.) : BERNARD de CLAIRVAUX : Sermons sur le Cantique, vol.2 (Sources chrétiennes no.431) (Paris 1998).

Latin text and French translation of sermons 16-32 on the Song of Songs.

LECLERCQ, J., ROCHAIS, H. & TALBOT, C.H. (ed.);  CALLEROT, Françoise, MIETHKE, Jürgen & JAQUINOD, Christiane (tr.) : BERNARD de CLAIRVAUX : Le Précepte et la Dispense ; La Conversion (Sources chrétiennes no.457) (Paris 2000).

Two more Latin texts, French translations and introductory studies.



WILLIAMS, Watkin W.: Studies in St. Bernard of Clairvaux (London 1927).

These studies concentrate on the earlier part of Bernard’s career.

WILLIAMS, W. W. : The Mysticism of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (London 1931).

This deals in particular with his sermons on the Song of Songs, and his books On Loving God and On Consideration.

LECLERCQ, Jean : Etudes sur Saint Bernard et le texte de ses écrits;

IN : Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis, vol.9 (Roma 1953) fasc.1 + 2.

Huge problems with the amount of material attributed to Bernard.

SAINT BERNARD Théologien (Actes du Congrès de Dijon, septembre 1953);

IN : Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis, vol.9 (Roma 1953) fasc.3 + 4.

A collection of learned papers on his theology, sources and influence.

GILSON, Étienne (tr. DOWNES, A.H.C.): The Mystical Theology of Saint Bernard (London 1955). 

He systematises Bernard’s thoughts so successfully that the title should perhaps read: Bernard’s dogmatic theology.  There are appendices on Abélard and courtly love, plus a bibliography.

DELFGAAUW, Pacificus: St. Bernard: The Nature and Degrees of Love;

IN : Monastic Studies, vol.1 (Berryville, Virginia 1963) pp.85-109.

This commentary, on the 4 degrees of love that lead to union with God, has been translated into English by a monk of St.Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Mass.

MELLET, P. : Notes sur le désir de Dieu chez saint Bernard (Géronde, Valais 1966).

This helpful study of Bernard’s mysticism shows how it informs his life as a monk, and how it fuels some of his writings.



FRACHEBOUD, André : Le charme personnel du Bienheureux Guerric d’Igny;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.19 (Westmalle 1957) pp.222-237.

A sympathetic evaluation of Guerric’s manner, his learning, his humility, and the sympathetic way he handled his charges.

MILCAMPS, Raymond & DUBOIS, Albéric : Le Bienheureux Guerric: sa vie, son oeuvre;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.19 (Westmalle 1957) pp.207-221.

A brief summary of his career and a bibliography.

MORSON, John & COSTELLO, Hilary: Who was Guerric of Igny?

IN : Downside Review, vol.84 (Downside, Bath 1966) pp.57-75.

They answer the question.

GUERRIC of IGNY: Sermon IV for the Feast of the Purification;

IN : Cistercian Studies, vol.3 (Spencer, Mass. 1968) pp.104-108.

This sermon, translated by a nun of Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, reminds the monks that they must always imitate Mary, in this case by purifying themselves.

GUERRIC of IGNY: Liturgical Sermons, vol.1 (Cistercian Fathers Series no.8) (Shannon 1971).

This English translation of 21 sermons also contains a long and useful introduction by J. Morson and H. Costello.

MORSON, John & COSTELLO, Hilary (éd.); DESEILLE, Placide (tr.) : GUERRIC d’IGNY : Sermons (Sources chrétiennes nos.166 & 202) (Paris 1970 & 1973) 2 vols.

Latin texts and French translations: vol.1: introductory study and Sermons 1-19; vol.2: Sermons 20-54.



THOMAS, Robert : Le Bienheureux Guerric et Notre Dame;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.16 (Westmalle 1954) pp.287-295 & vol.17 (Westmalle 1955) pp.110-118 + pp.245-252.

Guerric’s life, his Marian theology, and translated extracts in French.

MERTON, Louis-Thomas : The Christmas Sermons of Blessed Guerric;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.17 (Westmalle 1955) pp.229-244.

A commentary on Guerric’s five Sermons for Christmas.

LOUF, André: Une théologie de la pauvreté monastique chez le Bienheureux Guerric d’Igny;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.20 (Westmalle 1958) pp.207-222 + pp.362-373.

He takes Guerric’s emphasis on poverty as the starting point for an important study of his theology.

de WILDE, Déodat : The Formation of Christ in Us: Blessed Guerric of Igny;

IN : Monastic Studies, vol.2 (Berryville, Virginia 1964) pp.29-45.

This interesting study of Guerric’s unusual and mystical teaching has been translated into English by a nun of Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill.

MIQUEL, Pierre : L’expérience de Dieu selon Guerric d’Igny;

IN : Collectanea Cisterciensia, vol.32 (Scourmont 1970) pp.325-328.

He translates some extracts from Guerric’s more mystical sermons.



HOSTE, Anselm, SALET, Gaston & RACITI, Gaetano (éd. & tr.): ISAAC de l’ÉTOILE: Sermons (Sources chrétiennes nos.130, 207 & 339) (Paris 1967, 1974 & 1987) 3 vols.

Latin texts and French translations; vol.1: Introductory study and Sermons 1-17, vol.2: Sermons 18-39, vol.3: Sermons 40-55. After G.Salet’s death, G.Raciti helped with the editing and translating, using Salet’s notes and drafts for vols.2 & 3.

MERTON, Louis : Introduction to Isaac of Stella;

IN : Cistercian Studies, vol.2 (Spencer, Mass.1967) pp.243-251.

These words on his life and thought make an introduction to the next entry.

Sister PENELOPE : Isaac of Stella on the Way of Happiness;

IN : Cistercian Studies, vol.2 (Spencer, Mass.1967) pp.252-268.

These English translations of sermons for All Saints Day and sermons on the Beatitudes make Isaac not only interesting, but a pleasure to read.

SAWORD, Anne : The eighth century of Isaac of Stella;

IN : Cistercian Studies, vol.4 (Spencer, Mass. 1969) pp.243-250.

The present state of knowledge concerning the mysteries of Isaac’s career.

McGINN, Bernard (ed.): Three Treatises on Man: A Cistercian Anthropology (Cistercian Fathers Series no.24) (Kalamazoo, Michigan 1977).

Bernard McGinn writes the detailed introduction and translates Isaac’s Letter on the Soul.  (Also in this book are Benjamin Clark’s translation of Guillaume de Saint-Thierry’s De Natura Corporis et Animae, and Erasmo Leiva & Sister Benedicta Ward’s translation of the anonymous De Spiritu et Anima.)



BLIEMETZRIEDER, Franz : Isaac de Stella, sa spéculation théologique;

IN : Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale, vol.4 (Louvain 1932) pp.134-159.

It soon becomes a laborious account of Isaac’s handling of the proofs of God’s existence and other points of orthodox theology, using Sermons 19-26.

FRACHEBOUD, André : Le Pseudo-Denys l’Aréopagite parmi les sources du Cistercien Isaac de l’Étoile;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.9 (Westmalle 1947) pp.328-341 & vol.10 (Westmalle 1948) pp.19-34.

This useful article studies Isaac’s use of pseudo-Dionysius’ terminology, and his doctrines of negative theology, pantheism and the celestial hierarchy.

FRACHEBOUD, André: L’influence de Saint Augustin sur le Cistercien Isaac de l’Étoile;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.11(XI) (Westmalle 1949) pp.1-17, + pp.264-278; & vol.12 (Westmalle 1950) pp.5-16.

The 3 parts deal with illumination, predestination and the spiritual life.

WEBB, George : An Introduction to the Cistercian De Anima (Aquinas Papers no.36) (London 1962).

He studies 12th-century theological anthropology in general and the theories of Guillaume de Saint-Thierry, Isaac de l’Étoile and Alcher de Clairvaux in particular.

McGINN, Bernard : The Golden Chain: a study in the theological anthropology of Isaac of Stella (Cistercian Studies Series no.15) (Washington D.C. 1972).

He studies Isaac’s life, thought, sources and importance and places him in a long Neoplatonist tradition (plus bibliography).



BOUVET, Jean : Correspondance d’Adam, Abbé de Perseigne (1188-1221);

IN : Archives Historiques du Maine, vol.13 (Le Mans 1951-9) fasc.1-9.

This was his original (unfinished?) publication of the Latin texts of Adam’s letters with a French translation or summary of each.

MERTON, Louis : La formation monastique selon Adam de Perseigne;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.19 (Westmalle 1957) pp.1-17.

He considers Adam’s advice and methods to be examples of best practice in monastic training.  This piece has been translated into French by Charles Dumont.

BOUVET, Jean (éd. & tr.) : ADAM de PERSEIGNE : Lettres, vol.1 (Sources chrétiennes no.66) (Paris 1960).

The Latin texts and French translations of Letters 1-15 are arranged in chronological order from c.1190-97, with an introduction on Adam’s life and work.

LOHR, Benedict : The Philosophical Life according to Adam of Perseigne;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.24 (Westmalle 1962) pp.225-242 & vol.25 (Westmalle 1963) pp.31-43.

His preaching of Cistercian virtues and the imitation of Christ.

PERIGO Grace (tr,): The Letters of Adam of Perseigne, vol.1 (Cistercian Fathers Series no.21) (Kalamazoo, Michigan 1976).

This contains an English translation of Letters 1-15, as well as an appreciation of Adam by Thomas Merton.



LECLERCQ, Jean : Les écrits de Geoffroy d’Auxerre;

IN : Revue Bénédictine, vol.62 (Maredsous 1952) pp.274-291.

The life and writings of Geoffroy d’Auxerre from unedited manuscripts.

LECLERCQ, Jean : Analecta Monastica, deuxième série (Studia Anselmiana no.31) (Roma 1953).

He edits various texts on 11th and 12th century monastic life, including fragments of the work of Geoffroy d’Auxerre.

DIDIER, J.C.: Garnier de Rochefort: sa vie et son oeuvre: état des questions;

IN : Collectanea Ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, vol.17 (Westmalle 1955) pp.145-158.

A summary of what is known about Garnier.

WOLFF, Renate E.: Caesarius of Heisterbach’s ‘Dialogue of Miracles’;

IN : ELDER, E. Rozanne (ed.): Heaven on Earth: Studies in Medieval Cistercian History, vol.9 (Cistercian Studies Series no.68) (Kalamazoo 1983) pp.102-113.

It is surprising how little is known about Caesarius’ life, work and intentions.


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