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The History of Scottish Theology, Volume ICeltic Origins to Reformed Orthodoxy$
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David Fergusson and Mark W. Elliott

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198759331.001.0001

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Adam of Dryburgh

Adam of Dryburgh

(p.39) 4 Adam of Dryburgh
The History of Scottish Theology, Volume I

Peter Damian-Grint

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the life and theology of Adam of Dryburgh. Overtaken by love for the contemplative life, Adam became a preacher, an abbot, and a prolific theologian. The fact that Adam was in the first place a preacher is reflected in his idiosyncratic and very characteristic prose writing, which is very ‘oral’ in style—designed not to be read but to be listened to. Most of all, we see Adam in his early work as a convinced Augustinian. It was probably while serving as administrator of Dryburgh in the early 1180s that Adam composed what is generally considered to be his masterpiece, his De triplici genere contemplationis, a guide to contemplative prayer. His influence seems to have become greater, not less, as time went on: the great majority of surviving manuscripts of his work date from the fifteenth century. Adam is the only medieval theologian of international stature who lived and worked almost entirely in Scotland.

Keywords:   Adam of Dryburgh, contemplative life, Augustinian, sermon, Scottish theology, prayer

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