This paper surveys the doctrine on angels taught by theologians in the first century of scholasticism . This topic has received virtually no scholarly attention; but it is of interest for the light it sheds on the concerns of school theologians during this formative stage of their discipline. We can subdivide our target century into three parts, the first half of the twelfth century closing with the Sentences of Peter Lombard, the second half of the twelfth century, and the first (...) quarter of the thirteenth century. In the first of these three stages, scholastic theologians, for the first time, faced the challenge of creating a syllabus for the teaching of systematic theology and developed the sentence collection as their genre of choice for that purpose. The question of where to place angels within that context and genre, or even if they should be placed there at all, was the single most heavily debated topic on their angelological agenda. Another major matter on that agenda on which agreement reigned as to the desired outcome, although different masters proposed different itineraries to their common destination, was the felt need to refute Origen's claim that backsliding and conversion remained eternal options, so that Lucifer and the fallen angels might even be saved. Other issues that attracted attention had to do with the psychology of angels and their exercise of reason and will both before and after their fall or confirmation in glory. (shrink)
With the arrival of the fourth volume of this work, Peter Lombard's Sentences is now fully available in English for the first time. Giulio Silano's text, based on the third critical edition by Ignatius C. Brady in two volumes (Grottaferrata, 1971-81) is distinguished by its accuracy and readability, meeting the exacting criteria of a Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies translation. Each volume has a detailed table of contents, an index of biblical and patristic references, and a full bibliography of English (...) translations of sources cited in the text along with on-line versions where they exist. Volume 1 contains a bibliography of Anglophone scholarship pertinent to the Lombard, not updated in volume 4. .. (shrink)
The Book of Psalms was unquestionably the book of the Old Testament most beloved by patristic and medieval exegetes. Seen as a guide to the Christian life and as a prophecy of Christ and his church, the Psalms received extended attention from Hilary of Poitiers, Augustine, and Cassiodorus and from their Carolingian and Anglo-Saxon successors. After the ninth century, monastic writers continued to display a sustained interest in the text. As had always been the case, so in the twelfth century (...) the goal of monastic commentators was to inspire unction and compunction in their monastic audience. And, as before, their address to the Psalms reflected the assumption that this audience knew the Psalter by heart. Their exegesis could draw on the meditative and homiletic techniques embedded in monastic lectio divina, and they could present the exegesis of the Psalms as an adjunct to the devout chanting of the Psalter in the monastic liturgy. When they appealed to past authorities, the monastic exegetes simply chose readings they found illuminating and, without identifying the source, wove them seamlessly into their own exposition. These aspects of Psalms exegesis are quite traditional. They are found over and over again in the monastic writers of the twelfth century. (shrink)
In the 1170s, John of Cornwall and Walter of St. Victor both attacked Peter Lombard's Christology, charging that he taught that Christ, insofar as He was a man, was nothing, or Christological nihilianism. At the time, this position had two corrolaries: the view that if the incarnate Christ lacked a human person His humanity was not an aliquid, and the view that His humanity once assumed was accidental and partible from His divinity, like a garment or habitus that could be (...) put on and taken off at will. Both positions were associated with the habitus theory describing the hypostatic union, which was currently taught along with the homo assumptus and subsistence theories. In Book 3 of his Sentences the Lombard reprises all three theories. He indicates that they all have support in the Christian tradition. He also finds all of them problematic. He urges that the matter be left open, pending further reflection. In the Lombard's view, while the incarnate Christ lacked a human persona, He possessed a human aliquid, the human nature made up of body and soul, united to each other and to the Word at the moment of His conception, and not separated from His divinity thereafter. The accidental and partible view of Christ's manhood is what he finds objectionable in the habitus theory. (shrink)
In the De ordine, one of his early dialogues, St. Augustine makes the first of several assertions about the positive value of the liberal arts in the education of the theologian. Having argued that the principle of order applies to all things, he spells out a particular order for the study of the arts, which, he says, supply skills and information useful to the theologian. Even if a man lives a virtuous life, he observes.