Cluniac Monasticism in the Central Middle Ages by Noreen Hunt

By Noreen Hunt

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To BE A MoNK Is TO TRANSCEND THE WoRLD A still stronger influence on the formation of the spirit of Cluny was that of St Gregory the Great (d. 6o4). Considering the high regard in which he was held in the monastic world it is not astonishing that Cluny should from the start have adopted some of the favourite ideas of this monk-pope. • It is only too easy to pass over such a saying lightly and overlook what Odo was really demanding of himself and his disciples. But if we stop to examine the words closely we shall see that they are deliberately chosen.

KASSIUS HALLINGER 23 idea• it is possible to concentrate more precisely on the inward, monastic aspect of Cluny. We have gradually become better informed about the government of the order, as for instance its attitude towards priories, customs and liturgy. These new insights inevitably raise the question of the spirituality of Cluny. But this in itself is a subject with too many aspects to be covered by a single comprehensive answer. This present study will therefore be restricted to the early years of Cluny.

Gymn. Metten (1912) pp. 31 ff. KASSIUS HALLINGER 34 brings about a state of community of soul (animus socialis). The divine fire unites the hearts of all so closely that the rift caused by the selfishness of original sin seems at last to be healed and transcended. ' Since the time of St Basil and St Augustine monasticism has drawn life from this ideal, so Odo was certainly following tradition. 2 But he was not content to bear tradition along as a dead weight; he reflected on all its aspects and really made it his own.

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