Topic I. Bernard of Clairvaux, Stoicism, and Jesus
Bernard of Clairvaux, Stoicism, and Jesus
Bernard of Clairvaux, Stoicism, and Jesus
According to Bernard, new Chivalry entails that as a Christ knight is any person chosen as God’s agent against those doing evil things and he or she is a beneficiary of both to Christ and to himself. When a Knight dies, he or she is a beneficiary to himself, but when he survives, he is considered to be a beneficiary of Christ (Lansing & English, 2009). He points that when an agent of God is killed, he does not simply perish, but he is considered to have won through until the end of his life. On the other hand, secular chivalry has been defined as some mode of wickedness outright, since Bernard considers it as some sort of unbearable madness that leads a knight into some chivalrous doings that end up being a crime or even causing death (Lansing & English, 2009). In the secular chivalry, knights were fighting for the sake of acquiring wealth such as jewels, silver and gold. In that case, Bernard points that they were indeed rushing towards downfall that was in shameful madness and their idiocy.
Bernard defines Christ Knights as the God’s agents that have been chosen by God and were gathered from different points of earth (Lansing & English, 2009). In addition, they were highly considered as servants that came from the bravest people so as to protect God’s sepulcher with their swords in hand and ready for battle with lots of faith.
Bernard believed that as an agent of God, one should not fear anything ahead of them since God was in control of everything (Lansing & English, 2009). Moreover, he believed that the Christ Knights would not perish like the Knights in the secular chivalry.
The Stoics believed in life as some sort contract between the living humans and nature (Ramelli, Konstan & Hierocles, 2009). In this case, humans have been constituted in order to develop reason, since they are believed to have some sort of intelligence, and therefore this reason might eventually benefit them or transform how they understand themselves (Ramelli, Konstan & Hierocles, 2009). Throughout this life, human beings are required to think critically in all the actions that they undertake.
Stoics propose that one has an obligation to courageously accept the situations that happen and come into to terms with the worst outcomes of situations. The Stoics way of life make one to feel heroic under difficult situations. The Stoics perceive anger as a form of stupidity and to some extent, it is a dangerous indulgence in a human being (Ramelli, Konstan & Hierocles, 2009). In this case, they point out that, for a person to avoid anger and ensure that he lives a calm life, he should learn on how to expect far less outcome from the normal life. In addition, they argued that people suffered from anxiety because it always flourished in the gap that was created between what a person always feared that it could occur and what the person hoped would occur in the event of a situation (Ramelli, Konstan & Hierocles, 2009). Stoics proposed that, human beings were to use their sense of reason to intelligently and systematically crush down all the remnants of hope they had installed in their minds.
Stoicism points out that a knight should not go to a fight for the sake of meanness or lavishness but for a reason (Ramelli, Konstan & Hierocles, 2009). This is similar to Bernard’s point where a Christ’s Knight fight for the purpose of the Kingdom of God. In this case, the Knight will not die of shame, but rather with utmost glory.
Jesus believed that human beings should live in obedience to God’s commands and directions, since God is the Mighty one over everything on earth. As a good leader, one can be used by the Holy Spirit to influence other people to follow him into the kingdom of God (Jefferson, 2013). Jesus conducted his mission under fixed principles and truths rather than making up other rules as he move on. In the modern day, many people act like chameleons, they change their turn against the rightful deeds so as to fit into their situation, thus confusing the people who are not always certain about the real intentions of the person. Moreover, Jesus believed that people should love each other and be ready to help each other in times of difficulties. As a leader, Jesus was a great listener of his followers, his conscience and to God’s promptings. According to Jesus, a person who listens to the reproof of life abideth among the wise. This is evident in proverbs. 15:31-32, where it says that “He that refuses instructions despiseth his own soul, but he that hears instructions gets understanding” (Jefferson, 2013).
Jesus describes challenges as a narrow gate that one passes through his life (Jefferson, 2013). In his teachings, he emphasized more on love for people and points that love is always a solution to most issues that may happen to a person. Jesus advises his disciples that they should turn to God at any point that they feel any sort of difficulties (Jefferson, 2013). Furthermore, he states that God promises to protect, strengthen, guide and comfort all those who abide the rule of God and love God; those who maintains a personal relationship with God, including the Christians. As an agent of God, one never turns back in the fight against the evil doers, since the whole journey ahead is planned by God and God will protect his chosen people from failure and shame (Jefferson, 2013).
The Stoics way of life encourages a person to feel like a hero and defiant during hardship moments while Jesus advocates that people should seek the Kingdom of God in times of difficulties since God is never forsakes the people who abide by his rule and love him (Thorsteinsson, 2010). On the other hand, Jesus says that those who fight for God’s kingdom have absolute protection from God and they are destined for glory. This relates to Bernard’s words which state that Christ knights are chosen by God and they can fight in safety, without fearing the danger of losing their lives. He furthers points out that those who die by God’s name, hold no crime and they deserve the great glory from the mighty God (Lansing & English, 2009). Under the Stoics argument, human should use their voice of reason to survive in their surroundings, while Jesus suggest that human beings should trust in God and believe that God is the answer to all their problems. This means that, from the argument of Jesus, people should have hope in God, which is in contrast to the argument of the Stoics that people should not expect much outcome in life (Thorsteinsson, 2010).
Lansing, C. & English, E. (2009). A companion to the medieval world. Chichester, U.K. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Jefferson, T. (2013). The Jefferson Bible. Lanham: Start Publishing LLC.
Ramelli, I., Konstan, D. & Hierocles. (2009). Hierocles the Stoic elements of ethics, fragments and excerpts. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.
Thorsteinsson, R. (2010). Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism : a comparative study of ancient morality. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press.