Reading Guides, Theology

Medieval Theology – 10 Free Classics!

Medieval Theology Free Classics

This Reading Guide on Medieval Theology of the First Millennium is a follow-up to our guides on the Theology of the Early Christians and the Theology of First Millennium. The works it contains span basically the years 1000-1300 C.E. In addition to translations of primary work, we include a few historical / biographical works that highlight how theology developed in this era.

Here are ten theology classics from the medieval era that are available as FREE ebooks!

Mechthild and the Cloister of Hellfde

Mechthild of Magdeburg

The life at Hellfde was a very busy life, and had nothing of the usual littleness of convent rule. With great spiritual fervour, there was at the same time a spirit of liberty and cheerfulness that helped forward the constant, serious, diligent work of the house. Studying and copying, illuminating, working and singing, occupied the sisters, as well as the care of the poor and the sick; and above all, the study of the Word of God.

Besides the two sisters, the Abbess Gertrude and Matilda of Hackeborn, two other nuns were distinguished by remarkable gifts. One of these, called on account of her office the Lady Matilda, was the leader and teacher of the choir, and also the chief teacher in the school of the convent. She appears to be the same as Matilda von Wippra mentioned in the Querfurdt Chronicles. Much is related of her great gift as a teacher, and of the power which accompanied her words. “Her words,” so it is said in the _Gertrude Book_, “were sweeter than honey, and her spirit was more glowing than fire.” To her mainly was the school of Hellfde indebted for its wide reputation.

When the Abbess Sophia von Querfurdt resigned her office in the year 1298, it was the Lady Matilda who took the direction of the convent, which  remained without an abbess for five years. Matilda, however, filled this post for one year only, as she died in 1299. She was remembered for “the burning desire which she had for the salvation of souls,” and was deeply lamented by the sisters whom she had loved. They spoke often of her sweet voice, and her friendliness, and her holy conversation.
(from the book’s introduction)

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