Peter Abelard (1079-1142) is one of the most diversely gifted people of the Middle Ages. His letter writing, poetry, theology, logic, and ethics deal with almost every aspect of the trivium. This volume surveys his career to show how his extraordinary versatility enchanted and distressed his public. A selection of international specialists addresses the various aspects of Abelard's literary persona. The topics range from Abelard's personal history to his monastic thinking. There are essays on the letter collection, his views on love, ethical problems such as intention and suicide, his poetry and treatises written for Heloise and her nuns of the Paraclete. With its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research,
Rethinking Abelard opens up new avenues for future scholarship.
Contributors are: Michael T. Clanchy, Peter Cramer, Lesley-Anne Dyer, Juanita Feros Ruys, William Flynn, Babette Hellemans, Taina M. Holopainen, Eileen F. Kearney, Constant J. Mews, Eileen C. Sweeney, Ineke Van ‘t Spijker, Wim Verbaal, and Julian Yolles.
Babette S. Hellemans, Ph.D. (2006), Utrecht University and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, is lecturer in Cultural and Medieval History at the University of Groningen. She has published several books and articles on cultural history, and medieval perspectives on time, memory and history. Hellemans is in the process of writing
The Varieties of the Self: An Intellectual Biography of Peter Abelard.
Table of contents
Note on Contributors
Babette S. Hellemans
I. ABELARD IN CONTEXT
Abelard, Heloise, and Discussion of Love in the Twelfth-Century Schools
Abelard and the Jews
Eileen C. Sweeney
Divine Omnipotence and the Liberal Arts in Peter Damian and Peter Abelard
Conflict and Correspondence. Inner and Outer in Abelard and Hugh of Saint-Victor
Ineke van ’t Spijker
II. CONTROVERSY AND EXCHANGE
Was Abelard right to deny that he wrote the book of "sentences"?
Veiled Platonic Triads in Abelard’s Theologia ‘Summi Boni’
III. SHAPING LIFE
Abelard and Rhetoric: Widows and Virgins at the Paraclete
Trapping the Future: Abelard's Multi-Layered Image-Building
Intentions and Conscious Moral Choices in Peter Abelard’s “Know Yourself”
Taina M. Holopainen
‘He who kills himself liberates a wretch’: Abelard on Suicide
Juanita Feros Ruys
IV. POETICS AND POETRY
Peter Abelard’s Planctus ‘Dolorum solatium’: A New Song for David
Eileen F. Kearney
Abelard on the First Six Days
The Poetics of Abelard’s
Ingenium Babette S. Hellemans
All interested in the intellectual history of the Middle Ages, monasticism, poetry, culture, literature, religion and philosophy.