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The Cambridge Companion to Abelard (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
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One expects anything with the 'Cambridge University Press' impimatur to be of high quality, and this book is no exception. As I consulted it for a book on Abelard's theory of atonement, I was just a bit disappointed that there was no chapter dedicated to that subject; however, once I got past the Table of Contents, I discovered Chapter 8 on 'Sin, Grace, and Redemption' which treats that very subject, beginning with the important observation that 'atonement' as a theological issue seemed to bloom in the 12th and 13th centuries, with two of the three main competing theories arising within 50 years of one another, from Anselm of Canterbury and Peter Abelard, respectively.
One of the tragedies for those interested in Abelard is that we do not (yet) have a complete translation of his commentary on Romans. However, the author of Chapter 8, Thomas Williams, who, understandably, is adept in Latin, offers a summary of Abelard's thought from the whole Romans commentary.
The book covers all facits of Abelard's work, including his literary writings, especially Abelard's autobiography and letters to Heloise. The chapter headings show how remarkably modern Abelard's thinking was, as it includes Logic, Philosophy of Language, and Mind and Cognition. (I will be less surprised now to find similar topics in the works of other 11th - 13th century thinkers.)
As far as I know, the authors are all experts on Abelard. The biographical chapter is written by John Marenbon, a medievalist and author of 'The Philosophy of Abelard'. It's notable that all authors and editors have chairs in philosophy and not theology. With Abelard, that is probably a very good thing.Read more ›
Edited and with contributions from John Marenbon, one of the leading experts on Abelard and medieval thought, this volume explores Abelard's ideas on language and logic, metaphysics, human cognition and ethics. Abelard's insights in language, logic and ethics are especially interesting, as they overlap with many issues now being explored in contemporary philosophy.
This volume is a must for any student of Abelard and also of medieval philosophy.