Eros and Allegory:Medieval Exegis of the Song of Songs

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Monks and priests - male celibates - have for centuries described, expressed, and celebrated their love for God in the language of sex, most prolifically and characteristically in a thousand-year tradition of theological commentaries on the scriptural Song of Songs. As their allegory for the intimate love between God and man, they chose the most intense human model available - erotic love. After analyzing the tradition, its logic, and its imagery, Denys Turner provides translations of a dozen medieval commentaries never before available in English. From Gregory the Great in the sixth century to John of the Cross in the sixteenth, lovers of God speak in their own words across a thousand years a message as compelling today as it was in the Middle Ages.
Publication Date: 
January 1, 1994