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Pagans and PhilosophersThe Problem of Paganism from Augustine to Leibniz$
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John Marenbon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142555

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142555.001.0001

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(p.73) Chapter 5 Abelard
Pagans and Philosophers

John Marenbon

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on Peter Abelard, the first thinker, since Augustine and Boethius, for whom the Problem of Paganism was a central concern. Two of his works in particular are among the most remarkable of all medieval treatments of the area. Abelard's first theological work, written c. 1121, was the Theologia Summi Boni (later rewritten as the Theologia Christiana), gives a golden picture of the wise and virtuous men and women of ancient Greece and Rome, the philosophers especially. Probably just a few years later, Abelard wrote his Collationes, a dialogue, into which he introduces, as the central figure, an ancient philosopher redivivus, unambiguously outside Jewish and Christian revelation. But for Abelard the Problem of Paganism extends beyond these texts, since it is bound up with the aims of the whole theological project which occupied the second of the two stages of his career.

Keywords:   Peter Abelard, Theologia Christiana, Collationes, classical antiquity, Theologia Summi Boni

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