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Abelard and Heloise : Great Medieval Thinkers - Constant J. Mews

Abelard and Heloise

Great Medieval Thinkers

Hardcover Published: 3rd January 2005
ISBN: 9780195156881
Number Of Pages: 328

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Constant J. Mews offers an intellectual biography of two of the best known personalities of the twelfth century. Peter Abelard was a controversial logician at the cathedral school of Notre-Dame in Paris when he first met Heloise, who was the brilliant and outspoken niece of a cathedral canon and who was then engaged in the study of philosophy. After an intense love affair and the birth of a child, they married in secret in a bid to placate her uncle. Nonetheless the vengeful canon Fulbert had Abelard castrated, following which he became a monk at St. Denis, while Heloise became a nun at Argenteuil. Mews, a recognized authority on Abelard's writings, traces his evolution as a thinker from his earliest work on dialectic (paying particular attention to his debt to Roscelin of Compiegne and William of Champeaux) to his most mature reflections on theology and ethics. Abelard's interest in the doctrine of universals was one part of his broader philosophical interest in language, theology, and ethics, says Mews. He argues that Heloise played a significant role in broadening Abelard's intellectual interests during the period 1115-17, as reflected in a passionate correspondence in which the pair articulated and debated the nature of their love. Mews believes that the sudden end of this early relationship provoked Abelard to return to writing about language with new depth, and to begin applying these concerns to theology. Only after Abelard and Heloise resumed close epistolary contact in the early 1130s, however, did Abelard start to develop his thinking about sin and redemption--in ways that respond closely to the concerns of Heloise. Mews emphasizes both continuity and development in what these two very original thinkers had to say.

Images of Abelard and Heloisep. 7
The early years : Roscelin of Compiegne and William of Champeauxp. 21
Challenging tradition : the Dialecticap. 43
Heloise and discussion about lovep. 58
Returning to Logicap. 81
The trinityp. 101
A Christian Theologiap. 123
Heloise and the paracletep. 145
Ethics, sin, and redemptionp. 174
Faith, sacraments, and charityp. 204
Accusations of heresyp. 226
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195156881
ISBN-10: 0195156889
Series: Great Medieval Thinkers
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 3rd January 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 17.15  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.48