Fr. Basil Pennington has rendered a valuable service in making available a representative selection of the writings of Aelred of Rievaulx, one of the most engaging of the Cistercian writers of the twelfth century. It deserves a wide audience of both religious and secular readers. Brother Patrick Hart Last Secretary of Merton and General Editor of the Thomas Merton Journals Aelred is one of the great Cistercian spiritual masters. We are in debt to Father Basil for his judicious selection of texts. This useful anthology would make an ideal companion for a retreat or as a resource for lectio. Lawrence S. Cunningham Professor of Theology The University of Notre Dame Aelred of Rievaulx: The Way of Friendship offers a rich body of readings from the works of one of the greatest spiritual writers of the twelfth century. Fr. Pennington’s introduction is balanced and provocative, pointing to Aelred’s concern for both men and women, both monks and lay-people and to the way Aelred explains human love as a way of knowing and loving God. The selections are grouped to allow the reader to select readings of particular interest; their titles gracefully aid the reader in interpreting individual passages within each category. Selections explore not only Aelred’s rich teaching on friendship but also explorations of the love of Jesus and of his mother Mary and Aelreds reflections on his own life as monk and abbot. This book may be read either as an introduction to the thought and spirituality of Aelred or without reference to Aelred, as rich daily readings in the spiritual life of the Christian. They are as moving and helpful today as in the twelfth century. As Aelred taught men and women of his own time to meet and love God in their friends and in Jesus of Nazareth, so he continues to teach those who read his words today. This collection of texts will introduce him to many who would otherwise never hear his teaching. Marsha L. Dutton Cistercian scholar and professor of English Ohio University, Athens
New City Press, 2002. Softcover, 168 pp.