This article explores themes connected to the spiritual and the material, especially in connection with order and economy, in the thought of the Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux (1090/1–1153). It argues that these themes are particularly useful to an analysis of Bernard’s articulation of the challenge of human existence in a fallen world, and the proper role of the Church, its leaders and members, in response to wider concerns for Christian salvation and the material circumstances of twelfth-century Europe. Three treatises provide case studies for this approach, contextualised with discussion of economy in the Christian tradition, and its implications more widely in Bernard’s writing.
Gasper, G. E. (2019). Bernard of Clairvaux, Material and Spiritual Order, and the Economy of Salvation. Journal of Medieval History, 45(5), 580-596. https://doi.org/10.1080/03044181.2019.1658617