Spiritual Friendship is today the best known and perhaps most influential of the thirteen surviving works of Aelred, abbot of the great English Cistercian abbey of . Spiritual Friendship (Monastic Studies) [Aelred of Rievaulx] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Throughout his life, Aelred took great joy in. Spiritual Friendship has ratings and 39 reviews. Sally said: This short book was written in the form of a dialog between the author, Aelred (

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And finally, I so appreciate the colorful interlocutors he includes in his dialogical style, especially the sarcastic Walter.

This almost made me gag. However, he also differs from Cicero on some points, and a distinctly Christian perspective permeates Aelred’s philosophy of friendship. This new edition provides an especially good introduction, extensive bibliography of sources, translations friiendship secondary studies and a crisp, new translation.

Spiritual Friendship

The writer utilizes his consciousness of the power of chronicling to great masterly effect. Throughout the dialogue, in fact, Aelred and his several companions express their wish to be alone with each other, to exclude others, meaning other monks, from their conversation and thus from Aelred’s lessons. It is written conversation style between Aelred and some of his brothers with them asking Aelred for his wisdom. Qualities of rfiendship In his third series of conversations, Aelred describes the qualities which should be found in spirituwl spiritual friend, in ourselves or spuritual other.

But what is said here is of use to all: Spiritual Friendship by Aelred of Rievaulx. He may have been partially educated by Lawrence of Durham, who sent him a hagiography of Saint Brigid.

Aelred of Rievaulx

During his abbacy he built Rievaulx into a place of spiritual welcome and physical prosperity, desiring to make it “a mother of mercy” to those in need. Such a lovely, peaceful, measured book; full of wisdom.

In this light, as an Abbot to his sons, Aelred is aaelred to instill in their understanding what he himself had come to understand for himself about the operation of natural affection when fused with the impulse of spiritual love.


Why do we not stress over where we spend our love? It has been said that you cannot choose your friends, they are given as gift. When he became abbot, the numbers at Rievaulx escalated to hundreds as he rarely turned young aspirants away.

He has willed, Because Aelred’s treatise responds to Cicero’s treatise on friendship, I’m at a disadvantage, at least until I read the Cicero.

Aelred of Rievaulx: Spiritual Friendship, a new translation, Williams

As Roby points out, Aelred perhaps differently than Cicero intended uses the term “good will” for “a rational and voluntary choice to benefit someone”, and he uses the term “charity” to mean “the enjoyment of our natural affection toward someone.

Aelred is seeking to transpose what for Cicero were laws of friendship into Christian norms. Oct 23, Catherine rated it it was amazing. For that reason he has left no type of beings alone, but out of many has drawn them together by means of a certain society. It is cupidity that can breed jealousies, factions and divisiveness, whereas “true love builds up the community and can only serve to unify, not to tear apart” Roby, p.

Set as a philosophical dialogue, it was certainly dry reading–but with such great gems hidden within. Aelred of Rievaulx Latin: These are loyalty, discretion, right-intention and patience. Account Options Sign in. Which will make referencing and using this book easy in the future. It testifies to the deep assimilation of scripture into the life of the writer as well as the capability to utilize it.

This book was a nourishing and insightful read.

An interesting read that renewed my friendsip for my closest friends. Aelred spent several years at the court of King David I of Scotland in Roxburgh, possibly from the age of 14, rising to the rank of echonomus often translated “steward” or “Master of the Household” before leaving the court at age twenty-four in to enter the Cistercian abbey of Spirital in Yorkshire. Ciceronian friendship is thus construed upon the doublet praecepta and leges.


The text is constructed upon a firm foundation of biblical imagery and quotations. Not really my cup of spirotual but it had some good points. The author himself perceives this to be a companion to the Mirror of Charity and Tushnet offers some other works by homosexual Christians that build off of Spiritual Friendship.

Spiritual Friendship is today the best known and perhaps most influential of the thirteen surviving works of Aelred, abbot of the great English Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx from ‘ This cannot be too easily set aside; the age of friendship in which we are situated had a reliance on such classics and Cicero, these were firmly established within the literary culture to which Aelred was well frequented.

So come now, dearest friend, reveal your heart and speak your mind. Trivia Aelrer Spiritual Friendship. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

An excellent corrective to current ills rooted in the authentic Christian tradition. This literary format makes him easy to read. Aelred’s 12th century “Spiritual Friendship” has good insights and memorable passages, but I found it somewhat repetitive.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. In this context, biographer becomes subsumed into the role of infirmarian. Want to Read saving…. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. There is such a thing as friendship based on agreement to do evil, e. So what was originally written for monastics in the rwelfth century could be utilised today to help us come to a Christian understanding of how to relate to each other. In his personal development old and new conduct is an amicable dialogue.

Cicero struggled with the limits of friendship–how far should one go for the sake of friend? Mar 29, Karl Steel rated it liked it Shelves: