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Inspiration and Authority in the Middle AgesProphets and their Critics from Scholasticism to Humanism$
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Brian FitzGerald

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808244

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808244.001.0001

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Hugh of St Victor and the Prophetic Contemplation of History

Hugh of St Victor and the Prophetic Contemplation of History

(p.18) 1 Hugh of St Victor and the Prophetic Contemplation of History
Inspiration and Authority in the Middle Ages

Brian FitzGerald

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the influential twelfth-century theologian Hugh of St Victor, a canon regular bridging the monastic and scholastic worlds in Paris. The chapter argues that Hugh broadened and naturalized the prophetic model, closely linking prophecy with both general historical consciousness and contemplative experience. In his commentary on Ecclesiastes and the treatise called De vanitate mundi, Hugh’s meditations on sacred history reveal his optimism about the possibilities of discerning the sacred in contemporary events, not just in Scripture. Hugh makes these meditations on sacred history the basis for contemplative prayer, effectively promoting the cultivation of contemporary prophetic vision and thereby widening potential access to the traditionally elite prophetic calling.

Keywords:   Hugh of St Victor, time, historical consciousness, nature, mutability, Ecclesiastes, contemplation, Scripture, Holy Spirit, canon

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