Date of Award

Spring 1994

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Cizewski, Wanda

Second Advisor

Kelly, William J.

Third Advisor

Strackhound, Carol L.


I first encountered Rupert of Deutz while working on my Master of Divinity thesis at Concordia Theological Seminary in 1984. I was trying to determine the hermeneutical method of John Gerhardt in his Loci, when I discovered that he refers to this peculiar German monk numerous times in his locus on the Lord's Supper. The citations were made in passing as if the reader should be familiar with them. However, when I began to seek the references I discovered the great extent of his output. I was intrigued and yet I had too many other sources to investigate, so I simply indicated that Gerhardt's method of citation made it impossible to find some of the material. Soon after I began doctoral work at Marquette University I heard fellow students discussing Rupert and shocked them by indicating that I had actually read some of his writings. Yet, it was only after the departure of Father Joseph Lienhard that I decided to forsake Augustine in favor of a German monk that seemed to cross my path on a recurring basis. My primary interest has always been the exegetical methods of the church Fathers and their adaptation among the Lutheran fathers. His appearance in John Gerhardt was not isolated among Lutherans for Rupert's De victoria Verbi Dei had made him a popular figure. After reading John van Engen's Rupert of Deutz and Abigail Young's unpublished dissertation regarding Rupert's commentary on John, I knew I had found an exegete who would challenge me. Under the guidance of Dr. Wanda Cizewski, I was led to Rupert's commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Here I discovered a treasury of pastoral wisdom and a man who could be called a kindred spirit to Martin Luther. But what were the governing principles of his exegetical method? The comparison of Rupert to Guibert of Nogent and Peter Abelard helped open the door to understanding the answer to this question. But it was in the exegesis of Rupert that I found myself sitting as a student at the master's feet. Rupert was not some mystic or medieval recluse, his words were firmly anchored in the language of faith, the language which is still to be the life-blood of the Church.



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