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E. Ann Matter and Lesley Smith. From Knowledge to Beatitude: St. Victor, Twelfth-Century Scholars, and Beyond. Essays in Honor of Grover A. Zinn, Jr.

E. Ann Matter and Lesley Smith. From Knowledge to Beatitude: St. Victor, Twelfth-Century Scholars, and Beyond. Essays in Honor of Grover A. Zinn, Jr. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Pp. 448. Cloth, $75.00; ISBN 978-0268035280.

From Knowledge to Beatitude is a collection of essays concentrating on Christian theology and spirituality in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, in honor of the medieval scholar, Grover A. Zinn, Jr. 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. These essays might be better suited for the graduate or doctoral-level student. Materials, themes, and individuals studied are connected to the Parisian School of St. Victor and range from the complicated examination of exegetical drawing for explanation and Glossed Bibles to medieval interpretations of scripture, thinking and living according to wisdom, preaching, female spiritual influences, and views on returning crusaders.

From Knowledge to Beatitude is of interest to current scholars attracted to Victorine spirituality and theology, as well as upper-division students seeking a generalized overview of the medieval connection between spirituality and biblical studies. It might also serve as a prime example of the use of complex and often incomplete primary and secondary sources in an attempt to clarify medieval culture and thought. The book or selected essays can be useful in a focused undergraduate course in medieval studies or theology, after introductions to exegesis, Christian themes, terminology, and practices have been made. A familiarity with the works of medieval thinkers and writers is a must to avoid confusion or misinterpretation.

Each essay also serves as an instruction in essay design, method, and fluidity. Due to the variety of essays, each with a common thread, but different in theme, length, voice, and complexity, an instructor might be able to utilize select essays for reading assignments and discussion in the classroom. Material for lecture in a medieval studies, theology, or philosophy course is plentiful. Of additional interest might be studies in French medieval history, culture, and art. This collection does an excellent job of demonstrating how past and present exegetists explain and interpret religious writings and the Bible.

Texas A&M--Kingsville Kimberlee D. Garza

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Author:Garza, Kimberlee D.
Publication:Teaching History: A Journal of Methods
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2013
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