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St. Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx – FREE Ebook of the Week!

Aelred of Rievaulx Free Ebook

This week marks the feast day of the monk St. Aelred of Rievaulx…

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This week’s FREE ebook download is the biography:

St. Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx
(Lives of the English Saints Series)


*** READ a brief overview of Aelred’s life

Aelred of Rievaulx (1110 – 12 January 1167) was an English Cistercian monk, abbot of Rievaulx from 1147 until his death, and known as a writer. He is regarded by Anglicans and Catholics as a saint. De spirituali amicitia (Spiritual Friendship), considered to be his greatest work, is a Christian counterpart of Cicero’s De amicitia and designates Christ as the source and ultimate impetus of spiritual friendship. Friendship was a recurring theme in Christian monasticism. Gregory of Nazianzus, echoing Aristotle, describes his friendship with Basil the Great as “two bodies with a single spirit”.

It was likely at Durham that Aelred first encountered Cicero’s Laelius de Amicitia. In Roman terminology amicitia means “friendship” and could be between states or individuals. It suggested an equality of status and in practice it might only be an alliance to pursue mutual interests. For Cicero, amicitia involved genuine trust and affection. “But I must at the very beginning lay down this principle —friendship can only exist between good men. We mean then by the ‘good’ those whose actions and lives leave no question as to their honour, purity, equity, and liberality; who are free from greed, lust, and violence; and who have the courage of their convictions.” (via Wikipedia)


St. Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx
(Lives of the English Saints Series)


(PDF and other formats via Archive-dot-org )


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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at:

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Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
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One Comment

  1. Penny Wenman -Lightbourne

    … Thanks be to God, to have discovered you C. Christopher Smith w/ your Englewood Review of Books … healthy reading makes for a healthy heart & mind …the wholesomeness of Christian subject matter is so richly welcomed in a world of ‘pulp fiction’ … I’m so grateful … may God our Heavenly Father, & His most Holy Son, our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ … our soon returning Messiah … continue to wonderfully bless you & keep us all informed, comforted, with life changing reading …Amen