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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the Bernardine parables as they appear in the most recent editions. That is, as a group of eight texts named parabolae. These parabolae are short narratives, ranging from less than ten lines to ten pages in print, which involve diverse rhetorical techniques such as allegory, grand-scale soteriological history, and biblical mimesis with streaks of everyday life. The book focuses on the topographical structures of the parabolae, and they are considered through their participation partly in a field of analogical representation, partly in the Bernardine oeuvre. The parables were first presented in an oral, perhaps even vernacular version. Presumably, they were intended for, and mainly read by, monks. The medieval manuscripts come primarily from Cistercian and almost as frequently Benedictine monasteries.

Keywords: Benedictine monasteries; Bernardine parables; biblical mimesis; Cistercian Studies; Psychomachia's allegory; soteriological history; spiritual topography



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