Edited by E. Ann Matter and Lesley Smith
From Knowledge to Beatitude is a collection of original essays on the intersection between Christian theology and spiritual life primarily in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, especially in the Parisian School of St. Victor, which honors the influential work of Grover A. Zinn, Jr. Written by distinguished scholars from various fields of medieval studies, these essays range from the study of the exegetical school of twelfth-century St. Victor and medieval glossed Bibles to the medieval cultural reception of women visionaries, preachers, and crusaders. Although focused on St. Victor, they provide analyses of Christian themes up to the modern period. A common thread is Zinn’s careful attention to the connections between medieval spirituality and biblical studies, the origin of these ideas, and their lasting influence in Christian culture. The essays take us from Hugh of St. Victor’s foundation—material culture—to the “beatitude” of a wider understanding of Victorine culture and its lasting legacy.
This volume is a fitting tribute to a generous scholar, teacher, and mentor. It will appeal to historians, scholars of religion and theology, and art historians.
Contributors: Raymond Clemens, Catherine Delano-Smith, Walter Cahn, William Clark, Tom Waldman, Franklin T. Harkins, Lesley Smith, Hugh Feiss, Boyd Taylor Coolman, Dale M. Coulter, Marcia L. Colish, Dominique Poirel, Barbara Newman, Rachel Fulton Brown, Jeremy Adams, Frans van Liere, E. Ann Matter
“From Knowledge to Beatitude serves a need and fills an important gap in the Victorine tradition, the history of medieval exegesis, and medieval studies. The volume also honors the contributions of Grover Zinn, an important medieval scholar and teacher. It serves as a model for doing research and generalizing in the field of medieval studies and demonstrates how the last generation and the current generation of medieval scholars have plowed through difficult primary and secondary sources to make the medieval traditions clear." — Philip Krey, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
“This volume is a fitting, gracious, and generous tribute to a gracious and outstandingly generous scholar. The organization of the volume makes sense, starting with essays concerned with the ‘material culture’ of St. Victor, through explorations of the twelfth-century community’s mentalité, to reception-history or thematic studies linked to elements Victorine spirituality and theology. Matter’s closing essay, a graceful tribute to her undergraduate mentor, should be commended to undergraduates as an archetypal artifact of the life of the mind.” — Deborah L. Goodwin, Gustavus Adolphus College
“Grover Zinn, Jr. has played a key role in promoting a renewal of interest in the intellectual and religious culture of St. Victor, at least within the English-speaking world. The publication of this volume is thus a fitting tribute to his achievement. . . . [It] offers a potpourri of essays on the great internal diversity of Victorine spiritual culture, and much else besides.” — Parergon
“The essays, written by medieval scholars from various fields, are models for research methodologies in the fields of medieval or art history, exegesis, theology, or philosophy. . . . This collection does an excellent job of demonstrating how past and present exegetists explain and interpret religious writings and the Bible.” — Teaching History
“This is a wide-ranging and impressive collection of essays by a number of important scholars in the field of Victorine, twelfth century and early medieval thought. . . . The whole of the volume is a little like creation for Hugh of St. Victor, ‘a table heaped high with gifts.’ This collection, like Zinn’s own work of scholarship informed by joy and appreciation for the period, is set out as a table of delights.” — H-France Review
“Editors E. Ann Matter and Lesley Smith have assembled seventeen consistently excellent essays especially on the Victorines and other twelfth-century writers, from authors who studied with Zinn at Oberlin College and/or collaborate with him now on such projects as the multivolume _ Victorine Texts in Translation_ from Brepols. Further, they have also supplied exceptional editorial features of scholarly substance, literary grace and sheer generosity. The volume thus matches Zinn’s own patterns of thorough, careful, and generous teaching and writing in several ways.” — Religion and Literature
“In an original and touching final piece, E. Ann Matter evokes a wintry night in Oberlin, Ohio, listening to a Bach cantata she had brought to share with Zinn and his Medieval Christianity class. Here she compares the spirituality of that cantata to Richard of St. Victor’s Mystical Ark, which Zinn was then translating. That a decades-old experience should inspire such quality scholarship is testament to Zinn’s intellectual generosity and immense didactic skill. This entire volume likewise does great credit to his wonderful career.” — The Catholic Historical Review