Reason and Belief in the Age of Roscelin and Abelard: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Reason and Belief in the Age of Roscelin and Abelard

1st Edition

By Constant J. Mews


352 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788669
pub: 2002-07-24

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The previous collection by Constant J. Mews focused on the work and thought of Peter Abelard (1079-1142); the present volume looks more broadly at Abelard's intellectual and religious context in the Latin West, and at his teacher, the controversial nominalist philosopher and theologian, Roscelin of Compiègne. It opens with surveys of educational theory and practice in the 12th-century schools. Mews next explores the widespread movement in the period which sought to explain religious belief in terms accessible to reason, and the background to accusations of heresy made by monks troubled by new attempts to interpret Christian belief, both within and outside a school environment. Five related studies then deal with previously unedited texts by Roscelin of Compiègne and St Anselm that throw new light on the importance of the philosopher and theologian who exercised a major influence on Peter Abelard.


'… the whole collection provides nuanced glimpses into various aspects of twelfth-century thought, careful analyses of a range of theological texts, and, cumulatively, a significant reappraisal of early nominalism… a useful resource…' Parergon

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Orality, literacy and authority in the 12th-century schools; Philosophy and theology 1100-1150: the search for harmony; An excerpt from Guibert of Nogent’s Monodiae (III, 17) as an appendage to the De haeresibus of Augustine; In search of a name and its significance: a 12th-century anecdote about Thierry and Peter Abaelard; La bibliothèque du Paraclet du XIIIe siècle à la Révolution; St Anselm and Roscelin: some new texts and their implications, I. The De incarnatione verbi and the Disputatio inter Christianum et Gentilem; Nominalism and theology before Abaelard: new light on Roscelin of Compiègne; St Anselm, Roscelin and the See of Beauvais; The Trinitarian doctrine of Roscelin of Compiègne and its influence: 12th-century nominalism and theology re-considered; St Anselm and Roscelin of Compiègne: some new texts and their implications, II. A vocalist essay on the Trinity and intellectual debate, c.1080-1120; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General