The Song of Songs in Monastic Interpretation

Jun 27, 2021
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Free and open to the public. This event was held online through Zoom and live-streamed to YouTube. This event is part of a summer webinar series on Monastic Wisdom. 

The Song of Songs is the Bible’s treasure-house of love poetry, a cycle of songs sung between a man, a woman, and their friends, lush with the imagery of nature and of intense human longing. In it the name of God nowhere to be seen; believers have always, however, cherished it as a figurative representation of the ideal love between God and humanity; indeed, one of history’s most forceful movements for Christian celibacy – the Cistercian renewal of the twelfth-century – was famous for tending to treat the Song of Songs as the very heart of the Bible. This challenges us with the following very basic question: what does it mean to speak of God in romantic terms?


Wisdom from the Heart of the Cistercian Tradition

Join us once per month, June through September, for four Sunday evening sessions featuring monks from Our Lady of Dallas Cistercian Abbey who will lead us through a series of reflections examining the contours of the monastic intellectual tradition. At the foundations of the Cistercian order is the reform movement of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. In faithfulness to their founder, these webinars invite participants to see how the monastic approach to Scripture, theology, and the common life might reform our own understanding and endeavors in the labors of daily Christianity. 

This series is co-presented with Our Lady of Dallas Cistercian Abbey, and co-sponsored by the Harvard Catholic Forum, the Nova Forum, the Saint Benedict Institute, and Studies in Catholic Faith and Culture at the University of Dallas.


Upcoming sessions:

July 25, 7:30 PM CT: 

A School for the Lord’s Service”: A Meditation on the Rule of St. Benedict
Fr. Abbot Peter Verhalen, O. Cist.


August 22, 7:30 PM CT:

The Monastics before the Scholastics: An Introduction to Medieval Monastic Theology
Fr. John Bayer, O. Cist.


September 26, 7:30 PM CT:

The Christological Structure of Spiritual Growth In the Thought of St. Bernard
Fr. Roch Kereszty, O. Cist.