Heloise and Abelard

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, 1960 - History - 194 pages
0 Reviews
The writer of Medievel mysteries Umberto Eco, after seeking his counsel, called Etienne Gilson an "Illustrious medievalist... dear and unforgettable" (quoted from the intro of the book "The Name of the Rose"). Well, Etienne Gilson, in this book, "Heloise and Abelard" sets out to solve a real mystery set in medieval times; that of the intricacies of love, an unplanned pregenancy, and the resultant problems (Abelard ,was castrated (but two of his assailants were, under Christian justice at the time, given the same treatment, as well as having their eyes gouged out)). Gilson in the manner of detective and psychologist, as well as historian, attempts to deal out justice as well as look inside people's hearts, and discover their true intents (which he admits in the end, God only knows). The true story of Heloise's love for Abelard is one of the most endearing ever told and something that many medievalists tinker around with (including Heiko Oberman) Abelard was on superstar status, in his day, as a professor of theology and philosophy in age where students had much more leeway to choose their teachers and professors were paid by the number of students they had; Abelard was so popular he had to hold classes outside. Part history, part philosophy (or history of philosophy), and Gilson takes some liberties at psychologizing a bit. If you like Umberto Eco you might like this book as well, but read about them on the internet or in an encyclopedia before you start, if you know nothing about them, as Gilson gets right into the detectiving with little background details. There are all kinds of devious and/or devoted monks that Abelard must contend with, like the monks in Umberto Eco's stories.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Sources of the Drama i
9
The Secrecy of the Marriage
20
Between Two Separations
37
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1960)

Born in Paris, Etienne Gilson was educated at the University of Paris. He became professor of medieval philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1921, and in 1932 was appointed to the chair in medieval philosophy at the College de France. In 1929 he cooperated with the members of the Congregation of Priests of St. Basil, in Toronto, Canada, to found the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in association with St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. Gilson served as professor and director of studies at the institute. Like his fellow countryman Jacques Maritain, Etienne Gilson was a neo-Thomist for whom Christian revelation is an indispensable auxiliary to reason, and on faith he accepted Christian doctrine as advocated by the Roman Catholic church. At the same time, like St. Thomas Aquinas, he accorded reason a wide compass of operation, maintaining that it could demonstrate the existence of God and the necessity of revelation, with which he considered it compatible. Why anything exists is a question that science cannot answer and may even deem senseless. Gilson found the answer to be that "each and every particular existing thing depends for its existence on a pure Act of existence." God is the supreme Act of existing. An authority on the Christian philosophy of the Middle Ages, Gilson lectured widely on theology, art, the history of ideas, and the medieval world.

Bibliographic information