The new Augustine volume: Essential Letters

On Love - Victorine Texts in Translation

Introductions by Hugh Feiss OSB, Franklin T. Harkins OSB, Juliet Mousseau, Andrew B. Kraebel; translations by Hugh Feiss OSB, Vanessa Butterfield, Franklin T. Harkins, Juliet Mousseau, Andrew B. Kraebel
by: Hugh Feiss, OSB (ed.)
In stock
SKU 978-1-56548-434-4
ISBN Number: 978-1-56548-434-4
Page Count: 391
Format: Paperback

This volume contains five essays by Hugh of St. Victor: The Praise of the Bridegroom; Soliloquy on The Betrothal-Gift of the Soul; On the Praise of Charity; On the Substance of Love; What Truly Should Be Loved?; Richard’s: On the Four Degrees of Violent Love; Achard’s: Sermon 5 and two of Adam’s Sequences; and excerpts from the Microcosmus by Godfrey.

The version of the Rule of St. Augustine used at the Abbey of St. Victor began with the command to love God above all things and one’s neighbor as oneself. Not surprisingly, then, love was a pervasive theme in the writings produced there, many of which are introduced and translated here:

1. Five lyrical essays by Hugh (d. 1141): The Praise of the Bridegroom; Soliloquy on The Betrothal-Gift of the Soul; On the Praise of Charity; On the Substance of Love; What Truly Should Be Loved?
2. Richard (d. 1173), On the Four Degrees of Violent Love, compares romantic love and the love of God
3. Achard (d. 1170), Sermon 5 and two of Adam’s sequences show how these authors wove love into their writings
4. Excerpts from the Microcosmus by Godfrey (d. ca. 1195) summarize the central place of love in his humanistic theological anthropology


"Writings on love from the abbey of St Victor by Hugh, Richard, Adam, Achard and Godfrey are included, each one with a helpful and clear introduction, all preceded by a general introduction that is substantial and informative. Notes and bibliographies are detailed and offer further lines of enquiry for scholars of medieval spirituality, for whom this volume (the second in a series of Victorine texts in English translation) will be invaluable. Each writer provides a blend of experience, faith in Scripture and the church, and reason, all in service of promoting attention to the inner life and facilitating progression in faith. Each is indebted to and in turn contributes to the Augustinian stream in Christianity and, unsurprisingly, very often the Song of Songs is the focus of meditation. Contemplation and compassion are interwoven in these examples of the exploration of love, its nature, dynamism, direction and transformative possibilities, as well as its risks of misdirection, deformation and disorder. The more we advance in love, the more we approach God’s likeness and simultaneously grow in awareness of God’s presence in our life."

John Sullivan
Liverpool Hope University

"Hugh Feiss and his team have made an invaluable contribution to medieval studies. These twelfth-century texts, assembled for the first time in one volume, still blaze with the passionate love of God that once set a world on fire. In Victorine hands, exegesis, liturgy, psychology, and even cosmology glow with this transforming flame. Hugh and Richard had an incalculable influence on later medieval piety, while the lesser-known texts by Adam, Achard, and Godfrey round out this picture of the great Parisian abbey in its heyday."

Barbara Newman
Professor of English, Religion, and Classics and John Evans Professor of Latin at Northwestern University

"Love is an experience given fresh and exhilarating insight by a series of remarkable teachers nurtured by the abbey of St. Victor in twelfth-century Paris. In the various essays of Hugh of St. Victor introduced and translated in this volume, all relating to love, we find the calm voice of a master on the greatness of ordered love. In the sequences of Adam of St Victor, we find crisp poems of divine praise. Achard of St Victor brings speculative genius to his reading of the Bible. Richard of St Victor plunges us into the violence of love. Godfrey of St Victor expounds love as the force that binds man to God. This volume provides a magnificent point of entry into the fascinating diversity of Victorine authors, all of whom contributed in their own way to fresh thinking about love, human and divine."

Constant J. Mews
Professor, Monash University and Director, Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology

“Love was perhaps one of the most major aspects of Christ’s teachings. On Love discusses the writings surrounding Christ’s commandment of love, that one should love God above all else and love thy neighbor as you love thyself. Hugh Feiss digs through the medieval manuscripts for much spoken on the topic and presents an interesting historical insight on the history of Christianity. On Love is a strong pick for religion and Christian studies collections.”

The Midwest Book Review

"In addition to the excellent and learned, yet accessible, general introduction by Feiss, each of the selections of the Victorines is preceded by its own introduction and followed by endnotes … the editorial committee has made judicious decisions on the most representative texts of these authors on the question of love … For those interested in reading more of each author, and can read in other languages, the volume contains a rich and varied bibliography of primary texts in addition to notes that cite the secondary literature."

Benedict M. Guevin, OSB
in American Benedictine Review

More Information
Price $39.95
Language English
Publication Date Jun 3, 2012
Author Hugh Feiss, OSB (ed.)
Format Paperback
Page Count 391