The Mystical Foundations of the Knights Templar


The Knights Templar remain as fascinating and they are misrepresented in media, pseudo-history and conspiracy theories. Despite these distortions, the Templars do actually have at their foundations a kind of mystical constitution created by the Cistercian monk Bernard of Clairvaux. The Liber ad Milites Templi de Laude Novae Militiae (Book to the Knights of the Temple, in praise of the new knighthood) outlines the justification for Christian violence, why such a 'new knighthood' is needed and how that knighthood could attain mystical union with the divine despite spilling blood. The text also contains a mystical series of geographic meditation on sites within the Holy Land by which the Templar Knight could attain to holiness and the Divine Kiss. Bernard of Clairvaux's own contemplative mysticism of love is bound up with both the spiritual and physical warfare of these warrior monks.

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Recommended readings:

Bernard of Clairvaux: Selected Works - 978-0809129171
McGinn - The Growth of Mysticism: Gregory the Great Through the 12 Century - 978-0824516284
In Praise of the New Knighthood - 978-0879071202

Barber - The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple - 978-1107604735 & The Trial of the Templars 978-1107645769
The Templars: Selected Sources - 978-0719051104
Jones - The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors - 978-0143108962

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