Désir de voir Dieu et amour chez Guillaume de Saint-Thierry

Abstract : The purpose of our study will be to look at the theological and spiritual thought of Guillaume de Saint-Thierry regarding this difficult question relating to the vision of the invisible God in relation with love of God. This will lead us to seek the different constructions of this desire to see God that one finds so often under the pen of Guillaume. We will look at the reasons of this desire to see God, its rootedness in the human heart, its effects on all its anthropological components and how this desire to see God may find an answer in the Guillaume's theology. The desire to see God may seem paradoxical since it has been taught Israelites that: "Man cannot see God and live" (Gen. 32, 31; Ex. 3, 6; 33, 20; Judg. 6, 22-23; 13, 22; 1 Kgs 19, 13; Isa. 6, 4). Is God not "a God who remains hidden" exclaimed himself the prophet Isaiah? (Isa. 45, 15). However, the psalms have many times evoked the deep aspiration which lives in Guillaume: to see the face of Lord (Ps. 23, 6; 26, 8-9; 27, 8, 105, 4 ...). Has Jacob not been moved by this hope by calling "Peniel" the place where he struggled with the angel, for he said, "I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."? (Gen. 32, 20). Due to these contradictory texts, it seems that the question has not been answered, that is to say, is the vision of God solely kept for the next world or is that possible for us to hope here on earth to have a first taste of the vision to come? It is a central question in the Guillaume's theology which will lead us to follow him in his impulse, his dynamism, his enquiry relating to the mystery of the meeting between the humble creature and its God through the figurative sense of sight. The question would consist of knowing in which degree the meeting with Lord could be given during a certain form of vision. To do so, we must examine the different meanings given by Guillaume in his works regarding the subject of his desire : the vision of God, in connection simultaneously with his deep aspiration to be loved by God and to love God. Many authors interested in Guillaume sought to find the relation in his thought between love and understanding or between charity and intellectual knowledge (cf. our study about Amor ipse intellectus est, supra, Chapter III A 4. b). We will take up again this interrogation by seeking to understand better the link between the vision of God and the love on which Guillaume places the origin from the Trinitarian ("Trinitaire") doctrine. This question cannot be contemplated without doing one's best to interest oneself in the Guillaume's theology relating to the great topics structuring the spiritual life of the soul in search of a vision of God. This study will be divided in three parts. In the first part we will give the necessary biographical indications in order to follow Guillaume in his spiritual itinerary, in particular in his deep aspiration after the contemplation. His mystic quest of the God's face will be mainly studied through his works, for the different Guillaume's writings are at one and the same time an expression of his personal experience and a visible footstep of the evolution of his thought regarding this question about the vision of God here on earth and in the next world (cf. our study about "L'homme et son oeuvre", infra, Chapter I A). Through his writings, it appears that Guillaume was an educated and cultured man. He had a deep knowledge of the Holy Scripture and the Latin patristic works and, in a lower degree, the Greek patristic works. We will seek the influence of these different writings on the Guillaume's
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Monique Desthieux. Désir de voir Dieu et amour chez Guillaume de Saint-Thierry. Religions. Université Paul Verlaine - Metz, 2005. Français. ⟨NNT : 2005METZ005L⟩. ⟨tel-01777166⟩

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