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Topographical Anthropology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Bernard's directions to the readers, pointing them towards their own position in the soteriological landscape. Bernard offers a range of textual indicators pinning down man's post-lapsarian "You are here". His textual mapping offers a kind of prolongation of the vision, and an aid to those who do not know the way by heart, the ideal according to De gradibus humilitatis. The anthropology runs as follows: man has been created in the Garden of Eden, his original homeland. In this homeland, he has dominion over other creatures and may even be considered the adopted son of God. The primary anthropological content related to the spiritual topography evolves around the condition of the peregrinus: he must acknowledge his state of alienation and avoid settling in terrestriality so that, as a viator, he may proceed towards his goal and eventually become a civis in his heavenly homeland.

Keywords: civis; God; monastic alienation; peregrinus; textual mapping; topographical anthropology; viator



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