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§ 102. Peter the Lombard and the Summists.


Literature: Works of P. Lombard, Migne, vols. 191, 192.—Protois, P. Lomb. son épôque, sa vie, ses écrits et son influence, Paris, 1881. Contains sermons not found in Migne.—Kögel: P. Lomb. in s. Stellung zur Philos. des Mittelalters, Leip., 1897.—*O. Baltzer: D. Sentenzen d. P. Lomb., irhe Quellen und ihre dogmengeschichtl. Bedeutung, Leip., 1902. —*Denifle: D. Sentenzen Abaelards, etc., in Archiv, 1885, pp. 404 sqq.—Arts. Lombardus, in Wetzer-Welte, IX. 1916–1923, and *Herzog, by Seeberg, XI. 630–642.—Stöckl, Philos. des Mittelalters, I. 390–411. The Histories of Doctrine of Schwane, pp. 160 sqq., Bach, Harnack, Fisher, etc.


Peter the Lombard is the father of systematic theology in the Catholic Church. He produced the most useful and popular theological text-book of the Middle Ages, as Thomas Aquinas produced the most complete theological system. In method, he belongs to the age of the great theologians of the thirteenth century, when Scholasticism was at its height. In point of time, he has his place in the twelfth century, with whose theologians, Bernard, Abaelard, Gilbert, Hugo of St. Victor, and others, he was personally acquainted. Peter was born at Novara, in Northern Italy, and died in Paris about 1164.14001400    This is the date given on an ancient epitaph in Paris, but the date is made uncertain by the appointment of a bishop of Paris as the Lombard’s successor, 1160. This would seem to indicate his death occurred at that time unless he was deposed on the charge of simony, of which, as Walter of St. Victor says, he was guilty. Migne, 199. 1140. in Paris. Walter Map, describing his experiences in France, calls him "the famous theologian." In 1159 he was made bishop of Paris.

His monumental work, the Four Books of Sentences, libri quatuor sententiarum, covers, in a systematic way, the whole field of dogmatic theology, as John of Damascus had done four hundred years before in his summary of the Orthodox Faith. It won for its author the title, the Master of Sentences, magister sententiarum. Other systems of theology under the name of sentences had preceded the Lombard’s treatise. Such a work was ascribed to Abaelard by St. Bernard.14011401    Liber quem dicunt sententarium, Ep., 188; Migne, 182. 668. Walter of St. Victor declares it to have been by Abaelard’s hand or taken from his works, aut ex libris ejus excerptus. See Deutsch, P. Abaelard excursus.roduced such works and followed Abaelard’s threefold division of faith, charity, and the sacraments.14021402    Denifle, Archiv, 1885, learnedly establishes the relation of these works to Abaelard. They exist in MSS. at Nürnberg, Munich, etc. Omnebene expressly declared his work to be a compilatlon taken from different sources.14031403    Sententiarum theologicarum libri, VII.; Migne, vol. 186. His name is spelt Pullein, Pullan, etc. See Rashdall’s art. in Dict. of Nat’l Biogr., XLVII. 19.ert Pullen, who died about 1147, was an Englishman and one of the first teachers at Oxford, then went to Paris, where he had John of Salisbury for one of his hearers about 1142, enjoyed the friendship of St. Bernard, came into favor at Rome, and was appointed cardinal by Coelestin II.

The Lombard’s work is clear, compact, and sententious, moderate and judicial in spirit, and little given to the treatment of useless questions of casuistry. In spite of some attacks upon its orthodoxy, it received wide recognition and was used for several centuries as a text-book, as Calvin’s Institutes, at a later period, was used in the Protestant churches. Down to the sixteenth century, every candidate for the degree of B. A. at Paris was obliged to pass an examination in it. Few books have enjoyed the distinction of having had so many commentaries written upon them. One hundred and sixty are said to be by Englishmen, and one hundred and fifty-two by members of the order of St. Dominic. The greatest of the Schoolmen lectured and wrote commentaries upon it, as Alexander Hales, Albertus Magnus, Bonaventura, Thomas Aquinas, Durandus, and Ockam.14041404    The Jesuit Possevin gives a list of 246 commentaries in print. See Wetzer-Welte, IX. 1921, which speaks of the number of commentaries as unzaelig, "without number." Hergenröther (Gesch. II. 516) speaks of them in the same way as zahllos. The first commentary, according to Werner (Thom. von Aquino, I. 314), was by William of Seignelay, teacher in Paris and later bishop of Paris.

Not uninfluenced by the method pursued by Abaelard in the Sic et Non, the Lombard collated statements from the Fathers and he set about making his compilation to relieve the student from the task and toil of searching for himself in the Fathers.14051405    Prolog. to the Sentences, brevi volumine complicans patrum sententias appositis eorum eorum testimoniis, etc.14061406    Baltzer, pp. 2-5, gives the results of a careful study. Augustine furnishes 1000 quotations. Hilary comes next, being quoted 86 times. Baltzer’s book is a laborious comparison of every paragraph of the Lombard with the Fathers and his predecessors among the Schoolmen, especially Abaelard and Hugo of St. Victor.oposed to show the harmony existing between the patristic statements. In the arrangement of his material and for the material itself he drew largely upon Abaelard, Gratian, and Hugo of St. Vector,14071407    Denifle (Archiv, pp. 621 sqq.) is authority for the statement that he also quotes from Gandulf’s Sentences which still remain in MS. at Turin.ew for entire paragraphs.

The Sentences are divided into four parts, treating of the triune God, created beings and sin, the incarnation, the Christian virtues and the decalogue, and the sacraments with some questions in eschatology. The author’s method is to state the doctrine taught by the Church, to confirm it from Scripture, then to adduce the opinions of the Fathers and, if they seemed to be in conflict, to reconcile them. His ultimate design was to lift up the light of truth in its candlestick, and he assures us his labor had cost him much toil and sweat of the brow.14081408    Migne, 192. 522.

The Lombard’s arguments for the divine existence are chiefly cosmological. God’s predestination of the elect is the cause of good in them and is not based upon any foreseen goodness they may have. Their number cannot be increased or diminished. On the other hand, God does not take the initiation the condemnation of the lost. Their reprobation follows as a consequence upon the evil in them which is foreseen.14091409    Reprobatio Dei est praescientia militiae in quibusdam non finiendae, et praeparatio poenae non terminandae.

In the second book, the Lombard makes the famous statement which he quotes from Augustine, and which has often been falsely ascribed as original to Matthew Henry, that the woman was not taken from Adam’s head, as if she were to rule over him or from his feet as if she were to be his slave, but from his side that she might be his consort. By the Fall man suffered injury as from a wound, vulneratio, not deprivation of all virtue. Original sin is handed down through the medium of the body and becomes operative upon the soul by the soul’s contact with the body. The root of sin is concupiscence, concupiscentia. The Lombard was a creationist.14101410    II. 31; Migne, p. 211.

In his treatment of the atonement, Peter denied that Christ’s death was a price paid to the devil. It is the manifestation of God’s love, and by Christ’s love on the cross, love is enkindled within us. Here the Lombard approaches the view of Abaelard. He has nothing to say in favor of Anselm’s view that the death of Christ was a payment to the divine honor.14111411    Mors nos justificat, dum per eam caritas excitatur in cordibus nostris, III. 19; Migne, p. 285. John of Cornwall, his pupil, expressly says that the Bombard learned his view of the atonement from Abaelard and often had Abaelard’s Theologia in his hands, Migne, 199. 1052. See Denifle, pp. 616 sqq. Baltzer, pp. 96 sqq., goes so far as to say that his silence is to be interpreted as a denial of the Anselmic theory.

In his treatment of the sacraments, the Lombard commends immersion as the proper form of baptism, triune or single.14121412    IV. 3; Migne, p. 335.ted into the body and blood of Christ. Water is to be mixed with the wine, the water signifying the people redeemed by Christ’s passion.

It is remarkable that a work which came into such general esteem, and whose statements are so carefully guarded by references to Augustine, should have been attacked again and again as heretical, as at the synod of Tours, 1163, and at the Third Lateran, 1179; but at neither was any action taken. Again at the Fourth Lateran, 1215, Peter’s statement of the Trinity was attacked. Peter had said that the Father, Son, and Spirit were "a certain highest being," and that the substance neither begets nor is begotten, nor does it proceed from anything.14131413    Quaedam summa res est Pater et Filius et Spiritus et illa non est generans neque genita nec procedens.m a heretic, but the council took another view and pronounced in favor of Peter’s orthodoxy. Walter of St. Victor went so far as to accuse the author of the Sentences with Sabellianism, Arianism, and "novel heresies."14141414    From time to time questionable articles continued to be cited from the Lombard. In the middle of the thirteenth century the number of such articles at variance with the doctrine of the Church was given as eight. The doctors of Paris increased the number. Eymeric wrote a treatise on twenty-two such heretical statements. A list of fifteen are given at the close of Peter’s Sentences. Migne, 451-454.n get as clear an idea of mediaeval theology in a succinct form as in Peter Lombard unless it be in the Breviloquium of Bonaventura.

The last and one of the clearest of the Summists of the twelfth century was Alanus de Insulis, Alain of Lille, who was born at Lille, Flanders, and died about 1202.14151415    He is probably a different man from Alanus, archbishop of Auxerre, with whom he has often been identified, and who spent the last twenty years of his life at Clairvaux and wrote a life of St. Bernard. Migne, 186. 470-523. See Deutsch, Alanus, Herzog, I. 283 sqq. Hergenröther-Kirsch frequently quotes Alanus.

In the Rules of Sacred Theology Alanus gives one hundred and twenty-five brief expositions of theological propositions. In the five books on the Catholic Faith,14161416    Regulae de sacra theologia, Migne, 210. 621-684; and de arte sive de articulis catholicae fidei, Migne, 593-617.nts.14171417    Congregatio fidelium confitentium Christum, et sacramentorum subsidium, Migne, p. 613. Under the title liber sententiarum, Migne, 229-264, he wrote also on the Lord’s birth, John the Baptist, and Mary.

Another name which may be introduced here is Walter of St. Victor, who is chiefly known by his characterization of Abaelard, Gilbert of Poictiers, Peter the Lombard, and the Lombard’s pupil, Peter of Poictiers, afterwards chancellor of the University of Paris, as the four labyrinths of France. He likened their reasoning to the garrulity of frogs, — ranarum garrulitas,—and declared that, as sophists, they had unsettled the faith by their questions and counterquestions. Walter’s work has never been printed. He succeeded Richard as prior of the convent of St. Victor. He died about 1180.14181418    Walter speaks of the four labyrinths as "treating with scholastic levity the mysteries of the Trinity and the incarnation and vomiting out many heresies." Planck gave an analysis of Walter’s work in Studien und Kritiken, 1844, pp. 823 sqq. Bulaeus, in Hist. universitatum, vol. II. 402, 629, gives extracts, which are reprinted in Migne, 199, pp. 1127 sqq. Denifle also gives quotations, Archiv, etc., 1886, pp. 404 sqq.



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