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Crux A Cruciatu Dicitur: Preaching Self-Torture As Pastoral Care In Twelfth-Century Religious Houses

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines how primarily monastic and canonical preachers explained taking up the cross of Christ as the torture of the flesh and soul through physical adversities and spiritual activities associated with the ascetic life. While these preachers borrowed from numerous biblical and patristic sources, many of them referred particularly to Gregory the Greats Gospel homilies on taking up the cross and following Christ. Gregory taught that Christs disciples should punish their flesh through the physical cross of abstinence and afflict their souls through the spiritual cross of compassion for ones neighbor. The chapter focuses particularly on twelfth-century preachers, it begins with two eleventh-century monastic reformers. The first, Odilo of Cluny, referred to Gregorys homily on the cross to describe the crucifixion of St Paul with Christ. The other preacher, Peter Damian, promoted an especially physical expression of sharing in Christs suffering in his letters and sermons.

Keywords: Brad S. Gregory; Christ; cross; crucifixion; monastic reformers; Odilo of Cluny; pastoral care; Peter Damian; preachers; torture



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