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The primacy of ethics in the theology of Peter Abailard
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
1999 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is an investigation into the influence of Peter Abailard's (1079-1142)ethical theory on his theology. The investigation is set out as follows: In chapter onewe state some characteristic traits of the early twelfth century. Chapter 2 presents ashort biography of Abailard, and lists his principal works. Chapter 3 gives a survey ofthe research done on Abailard. This introductory section leads to the conclusion thatethics was a field of awakening interest at the time and that it was the subject of twoof Abailard's most original works. It also shows that its relation to his theology isstill not fully investigated.

In Part two we analyse Abailard's ethical theory. Chapter 4 gives the general outlineof this theory and distinguishes two focal points in it. In chapter 5 we investigate thefirst of these, which concerns the moral code and the function of reason in his ethicaltheory. Chapter 6 presents the other focal point: the disposition of man and the role ofthat disposition when man is subjected to moral judgement. It also describes the roleof the virtues that constitute that disposition.

Part three surveys the theology. In chapter 7 we analyse Abailard's concept of faith.Chapter 8 describes his presentation of the doctrine of Cod as Supreme Good(Summum Bonum) and of the Trinity. We also compare this with aspects of hisethical theory. In chapter 9 a description is given of his use of the concept of Charityand a description of the doctrine of the Atonement.

Finally, in chapter 10, we make some concluding remarks as to how Abailard's ethicsinfluence his theology. This also contains some thoughts on the general character of atheology that is based primarily on ethics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1999. , 182 p.
Keyword [en]
Religion, Abelard, Ethics, Heloise, Medieval Theology, St Bernard, Twelfth Century
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-784ISBN: 99-3084786-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-784DiVA: diva2:170167
Public defence
2000-01-15, Regnellsalen, Regnellianum, Slottsgränd 3, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 1999-12-25 Created: 1999-12-25Bibliographically approved

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