Embracing Death, Celebrating Life: Reflections on the Concept of

Joachim Rother

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/OM.2014.010

Abstract


The Templars were the first religious military order dedicated to warfare, and, to them, the anticipation of a meritorious death in battle was a key characteristic that was unique to their profession. Not only the order’s Rule and early theological texts addressed to the Templar community, such as the writings of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, but also a wide range of external sources, including chronicles and trial records, suggest that the Templars were particularly associated with martyrdom as the most original form of Christian sanctity, namely in imitation of Christ’s own sacrifical death. This article aims at shedding light on this neglected aspect of Templar spirituality and discusses the implications of this concept’s manifestation throughout the order’s history.


Keywords


Templars; Bernard of Clairvaux; martyrdom; sacrifice; spirituality

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References


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