By David W. Hamlyn
First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Extra resources for Being a Philosopher: The History of a Practice
Perhaps his most famous theological work was Sic et Non, although this was not the work which was condemned at Soissons in 1121, that being De Unitate et Trinitate Divina; it THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE 31 was his views on the doctrine of the Trinity which were the subject of criticism at Sens too. The importance of Sic et Non was that it involved the application of logical considerations to texts drawn from the scriptures and the church fathers. Abelard set such texts in contraposition to each other, perhaps as an exercise designed to sharpen the wits of theological students, but also to show the need to go behind the mere words to the true meaning.
After about five years as Abbot of St Gildas in Brittany, he returned to the school in Paris at Ste Geneviéve. After the condemnation of his views by the Council of Sens and his excommunication, he retired to Cluny, had some sort of reconciliation with Bernard, and died therein 1142. I have given special attention to these facts only because they give some picture of how someone with the ability, but also arrogance, of Abelard could practise his discipline by teaching those who flocked to him. Perhaps his most famous theological work was Sic et Non, although this was not the work which was condemned at Soissons in 1121, that being De Unitate et Trinitate Divina; it THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE 31 was his views on the doctrine of the Trinity which were the subject of criticism at Sens too.
Bruno was inspired by the doctrine of the earlier Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464) concerning the coincidence of all opposites, and perhaps by Nicholas’s dethronement of the earth as the centre of the universe, not to speak of the more ambivalent attitudes to this matter taken up by Copernicus (1473–1543). Bruno despised Copernicus as a mere mathematician; he himself asserted the unity of the All in the One and denied the geocentricity of the universe. His fate, like the more celebrated but less drastic one of Galileo, is a clear indication of the remaining power of the Church at this period.
Being a Philosopher: The History of a Practice by David W. Hamlyn