Eckbert of Schönau
ECKBERT OF SCHÖNAU
Abbot and theologian; b. Rhineland, before 1132; d. Abbey of Schönau, near Trier, Germany, March 28, 1184. He came from a noble family of the Rhineland with important connections in the local Church hierarchy and was a fellow student of rainald of dassel at the schools of Paris. He became a canon of the church of SS. Cassius and Florentius at Bonn, but in 1155, after a journey to Rome, he entered the benedictines at the Abbey of Schönau, in the Diocese of Trier, under Abbot Hildelin (d. 1166). Rainald, then archbishop of cologne, summoned Eckbert to debate the doctrines of the cathari in his archdiocese; Eckbert's Sermones contra Catharos (PL 195:11–98), dedicated to the archbishop, proved to be a remarkably clear and penetrating refutation of the heresy. His Stimulus amoris (Patrologica Latina 158: 748–761, 184:953–966) is often attributed to bernard of clairvaux or anselm of canterbury, while another meditation, Soliloquim seu meditationes (Patrologica Latina 153:773–779; 195:105–114), has been credited to Anselm. The tone of his spiritual writings prefigured the later devotion to the sacred heart. Eckbert was spiritual director of his sister, elizabeth of schÖnau, a member of the feminine section of the double monastery at Schönau, and after her death he wrote her biography and an account of her revelations (PL 195:119–194). Eckbert was elected abbot of Schönau in 1166 on the death of Hildelin, and even in this busy post kept up his intellectual warfare against the Cathari. This scholarly abbot's vita was written by his successor, Emecho of Schönau [Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 11 (1886) 448–454].
Bibliography: Works. Patrologia Latina 195:11–194. f. w.e. roth, ed., Die Visionen der hl. Elisabeth und die Schriften der Abte Ekbert und Emecho von Schönau (2d ed. Würzburg 1886); ed., Das Gebetbuch der heiligen Elisabeth von Schönau (Augsburg 1886). a. barrÉ, "Une Prière d'Ekbert de Schönau au saint Coeur de Marie," Ephemerides mariologicae 2 (1952) 409–423. Literature. p. sÉjournÉ, "L'Aiguillon d'amour de l'Abbé Egbert," Regnabit 2 (1922) 327–332. u. berliÈre, La Dévotion au Sacré-Coeur dans l'ordre de Saint Benoît (Paris 1923) 8, 15–17. a wilmart, Auteurs spirituels et textes dévots du moyen âge latin (Paris 1932) 194–195, 421–422. j. de ghellinck, L'Essor de la littérature latine au XII e siècle (Brussels-Paris 1946) 1:160, 169–170. k. kÖster, "Das visionäre Werk Elisabeths von Schönau," Archiv für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte 4 (1952) 79–119. a. borst, Die Katharer (Stuttgart 1953), passim. j. c. didier, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 14:1472–75.
[b. j. comaskey]