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Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary [Hardcover]

By Terrance G. Kardong (Author)
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Item description for Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary by Terrance G. Kardong...

Now in Benedict's Rule Kardong has completed a line-by-line exegesis of the entire Rule-the first such in the English language.

Publishers Description

"Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary" is the first line-by-line exegesis of the entire Rule of Benedict written originally in English. This full commentary - predominately a literary and historical criticism - is based on and includes a new translation, and is accompanied by essays on Benedict's spiritual doctrine.

A monk who has striven to live according to the Rule of Benedict for thirty-five years, Father Kardong relates it to modern monastic life while examining the sources (Cassian, Augustine, and Basil) Benedict used to establish his Rule. Overviews - summaries of notes, source criticism, or structural criticism - follow some chapters, and a large bibliography of the current scholarship and source references are also included. "Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary" also includes the Latin text of the "Regula Benedicti."This reference work is invaluable to libraries and to those who are called to interpret the Rule. It will be opened again and again. Indexed.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Liturgical Press
Pages   641
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.37" Width: 6.28" Height: 1.58"
Weight:   2.22 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  0814623255  
ISBN13  9780814623251  

Availability  4 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 03:28.
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More About Terrance G. Kardong

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Terrence G. Kardong, OSB, is a monk of Assumption Abbey in Richardton, North Dakota. Editor of American Benedictine Review, he also wrote Benedict's Rule published by the Liturgical Press.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Saints
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Reviews - What do customers think about Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary?

Book of wisdom and thought; exemplary study...  May 7, 2007
The godliness of living a Gospel life when it comes to The Rule of St. Benedict, the nature of the author's intentions and set of mind, the understandings of The Rule itself, are a few of the rewards one gets from Terrence G. Kardong's, "Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary." One thesis of Father Kardong's is, "...the Rule teaches a dynamic spirituality." A book for those interested in living a Gospel life, some areas touched upon by this book include, "progress and growth" in the religious and spiritual life, what's referred to as ongoing conversion in the life of faith, and humility.

The book suggests looking towards continued reading of "...the teaching of the Bible and Fathers." This last a recommendation of the Rule, and the book "Benedict's Rule" an endorsement and recommendation of St. Benedict's little book for beginners.

A reader interested in St. Benedict's Rule will find this 600 plus page work, published by The Liturgical Press a scholarly work. It can be used as a text for reading, as in study, or as a reference work (so I think). The book speaks of St. Benedict's sense of moderation, and his humility, an earmark of the book about the Rule itself, and a hallmark of the author who is a monk and priest.

Father Kardong writes at the very beginning of the book in a dedication that the work is, "To my brothers of Assumption Abbey who taught me how to be a monk and who freed me for the work of writing this commentary on the Rule of Benedict." This is a book for monks in the monastery, and also for lay people and Oblates of St. Benedict. This is a book for church goers. This is a book for people who practice the work of God, the daily office.

One needs to have patience and perseverance to read it. One needs to take this book as it comes, not hurry it along, and in many places reread both the Rule as translated by Father Kardong, and his commentary. A retired Episcopal priest, who used to give retreats for the laity introducing The Rule of St. Benedict, suggested that I read the book without a sense of time or looking towards the end of it. He thought the work a book to be savored.

Father Kardong has many good thoughts and suggestions; certainly his commentary is beneficial for the interested reader. That is not a statement too obvious to be made, for this is a worthy book by a wise and educated monk.

I will find a good quote from Terrence G. Kardong's writings, but first this description of the book from the preface by Father Kardong says he has produced "...a double-deck commentary with detailed philological material in notes and discursive material in the overviews." This is his interpretation of the Rule. He notes that much is experiential. For me, this added merit to the book. His commentary is part of his life experience and work. An attribute that adds to the authenticity and authority of, "The Rule: A Translation and Commentary."

The famous words of the Rule begin, "Listen, O my son, to the teachings of your master, and turn to them with the ear of your heart." After all, the Rule is a religious book, and religion is for the heart. These words for the heart have been around 1,500 years. What is meant by these few words of the Rule is made commentary in another quotation: "Let us open our a possible allusion to the Transfiguration, where the drowsy disciples are startled by the shining forth of Christ, and instructed by the voice from heaven (Luke 9:32)."

At a preached retreat in Big Sur, California USA, at Immaculate Heart Hermitage, Brother Bede explained that the Rule is a holy book, an illuminated work that keeps on giving, like the Bible. I remembered his instruction when approaching "Benedict's Rule" and considered that the writer Father Kardong also approached it as such. This itself is an important point, for the work presented is exemplary.

In his commentary on the last part of the Rule, he writes, "...that observance of the Rule [Biblical theme of the Rule] itself is not enough; the Rule, like the Law, is to be `fulfilled.'" Though many believe the Rule is a way to perfection, and asks for that perfection, a serious consideration is that the Rule is also a book of love. Kardong believes it is mainly a book about love.

A major theme of the last chapter, love is described in the commentary: "...for the love that is preached in the penultimate chapter is essentially communal and public...selfless love for the other is a better way to end the Rule than the theme of `perfection.'"

It is the love in community; love for and of one another, the love that God offers and gives, that is central to living the Rule of St. Benedict. This alone is worth the price of admission. For as the monastery is a school for living, so the Rule offers a school for living the Gospel in ongoing conversion in one's life. "The Rule of St. Benedict" is a book inspired by the Gospel and written by a great holy man, Benedict of Nursia (St. Benedict).

--Peter Menkin, Easter 2007
Listen!  Oct 3, 2005
The Rule of St. Benedict itself is a fairly short book - it can be done as a pocket-sized edition. It is a good example of the statement, 'good things come in small packages'. The rule is a guide of life, but not 'a rigid, brutal structure imposed legalistically'. Benedict was fully aware of human frailty, as true 1500 years ago as it is today. This frailty requires much to be done to give the person strength, and so Benedict's Rule is designed for an ever-increasing self-discipline which is supported by community worship and practice.

Benedict's Rule for life includes worship, work, study, prayer, and relaxation. Benedict's Rule requires community -- even for those who become hermits or solitaries, there is a link to the community through worship and through the Rule. No one is alone. This is an important part of the relationship of God to the world, so it is an integral part of the Rule.

Benedict's Rule was set out first in a world that was torn with warfare, economic and political upheaval, and a generally harsh physical environment. This Rule was set out to bring order to a general chaos in which people lived. This is still true today, and men and women all over the world use Benedict's 'little rule for beginners' as a basic structure for their lives.

The first word of the rule is Listen. This is perhaps the best advice for anyone looking for any guidance or rule of life. While Benedict's Rule is decidedly Christocentric and hierarchical (though not as hierarchical as much popular ideas about monastic practice would have one think), it nonetheless can give value to any reader who is looking to construct a practice for oneself.

Benedict's establishment of a monastery was in fact the establishment of a school for spirituality. In his prologue to the Rule, Benedict even states this as his intention. 'In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome.' He sets forth in this brief rule a guide to individual life within community that will bring one ever closer to the divine.

Benedict explores the issues of charity, personality, integrity, and spirituality in all of his rules. From the clothing to the prayer cycle to the reception of guests, all have a purpose that fits into a larger whole, and all have positive charges and negative warnings. Benedict is especially mindful of the sin of pride, be it pride of possession, pride of person, pride of place -- he strives for equality in the community (as a recognition that all are equal before God).

Hundreds of thousands of pages have been written over the last millenium and a half on the Rule of St. Benedict, but it all comes down to this brief collection, which can be read easily in an hour, yet takes a lifetime (or perhaps more!) to master.

Open it for yourself to see what riches it may hold for you.

This particular version by Kardong includes the original Latin text (with minor editing and updating) as well as extensive translation notes and commentary. The Rule itself is very short, and can be (and has been) printed in 80 small pages; the fact that this volume is over 600 pages should give an good indication of the richness of the commentary. Good things do come in small packages, but the notes and additional material here is not to be missed, not to mention the interesting aspect of reading the text in the original language.
That Deep Benedictine Well  Jan 22, 2001
Over the past 16 years, I've become personally involved with Benedictine spirituality through regular retreats to the monastic cloister. Kardong's book has given me the historical perspective and linguistic insight into that deep well, "The Rule of St. Benedict", the life source of Benedictine monasticism. Through his scholarly exegesis of "The Rule", I've gained understanding of this way of life, and thus have better lived my own life and faith. I have referred again and again to "Benedict's Rule: A Translation and Commentary" in the writing of my own commentary on "The Rule" for parents, "The Family Cloister: Benedictine Wisdom for the Home". I am currently working on a companion volume, "The Family Cloister Workbook: 52 Benedictine Activities for the Home", and have continually opened the pages of Kardong's book to better understand certain chapters and phrases in "The Rule". Besides the monks themselves who daily live the Rule, Kardong's commentary is one of the most complete expositions of Benedict's Rule I've found.

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