The Monastic Paradigm and the Romanesque Style

Richard Viladesau

in The Beauty of the Cross

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195188110
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784738 | DOI:
 The Monastic Paradigm and the Romanesque Style

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The Romanesque ivory crucifix of Fernand and Sancha, with a smiling victorious Christ reigning from the cross, illustrates the aesthetic mediation of soteriology in the early middle ages. The theme of Christ as victorious hero is also seen in the vernacular religious poetry of the period like the “Dream of the Rood” and “The Heliand”. The theoretical mediation of “Christus Victor” theology is expressed in classical form by Gregory the Great. The “satisfaction theory” of Anselm produced a systematic theoretical alternative to earlier Patristic images. Abelard’s emphasis on Christ as teacher and example anticipated major themes of scholasticism, while Bernard of Clairvaux represented the monastic protest against incipient scholastic method. But these divergent theological paradigms nevertheless coincided in representing a new devotion to the humanity of Christ.

Keywords: Abelard; Anselm; Bernard of Clairvaux; Christus Victor; humanity of Christ; monastic theology; satisfaction theory; Romanesque

Chapter.  13034 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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