'Gloriosus Magister Adam' : the Premonstratensian contemplative thought and theology of Adam of Dryburgh
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This thesis examines the contemplative thought of Adam of Dryburgh (c. 1150 - c. 1213), one of the most significant representatives of early Premonstratensian spirituality, demonstrating the significance of meditation in Adam's Premonstratensian contemplative thought for articulating the relation between creation and the Creator, the relation between the tripartite divine image and the Trinity, and for leading the contemplator towards contemplation of the divine. Referring to the distinction between meditation (understood as a type of interpretative analysis) and contemplation (a type of understanding of the truth) as articulated by Jordan Aumann and Adam's medieval counterparts, this thesis analyses and contextualises Adam's expression of these concepts with particular reference to Augustinian and Victorine thought. Chapter 1 examines Adam’s understanding of 'lectio divina' (encompassing reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation as defined by the Carthusian Guigo II) in Adam's commentary on the Rule of St. Augustine, 'Liber de ordine,' and his sermon collection 'Ad viros religiosos,' which express Adam's ideals concerning the contemplative aspect of Premonstratensian religious life. Chapter 2 considers Adam's contemplative exegesis 'De tripartito tabernaculo,' systematising his spiritual interpretation of the tabernacle, analysing the fivefold spiritual progression towards God, which demonstrates elements of bridal mysticism, and indicating Adam's apophaticism regarding contemplation of the Trinity. Chapter 3 analyses Adam's meditation on creation in 'De triplici genere contemplationis,' identifying five contemplative principles contributing to the realisation of divine attributes, and contextualising these in light of St. Augustine's 'Confessions' and Hugh of St. Victor's 'On the Three Days.' Chapter 4 examines Adam's introspection and contemplation of the Trinity in 'De triplici genere contemplationis' – analysing, firstly, his introspection concerning the relationship between the body and soul, then the introspection of the tripartite divine image (explicated as 'esse,' 'scientia' and 'amor') ultimately leading to contemplation of the Trinity.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2027-11-02
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Restricted until 2nd November 2027
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