ABELITES, b'bel-Bits (ABELIANS, ABELONIANS) A sect mentioned by Augustine (Haer., lxxxvii.; cf. Praedestinatus, i. 87) as formerly living in the neighborhood of Hippo, but already extinct when he wrote. Their name was derived from Abel, the son of Adam. Each man took a wife, but refrained from conjugal relations, and each pair adopted a boy and a girl who inherited the property of their foster-parents on condition of living together in like manner in mature life. They were probably the remnant of a Gnostic sect, tinged perhaps by Manichean influences. [The name grew out of a wide-spread belief that Abel though married had lived a life of continence.]

BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. W. F. Walch, Enhourf einer vollstandigen Historie der Ketzereien, i. 607-808, Leipsic, 1762.

ABELLI, a-bel'li, LOUIS : French Roman Catholic; b. 1603; d. at Paris Oct. 4, 1691. He was made bishop of Rhodez, southern France, in 1664, but resigned three years later and retired to the monastery of St. Lazare in Paris. He was a vehement opponent of Jansenism. His numerous works include: Medulla theologica (2 vols., Paris, 1651), a treatise on dogmatics; La Tradition de l'-Eglise touchant la devotion envers la Sainte Vierge (1652); Vie de St. Vincent de Paul (1664); De l'obeissance et soumission due au Pape (ed. Cheruel, 1870); and two volumes of meditations, La Couronne de 1'annee chretienne (1657).

ABEN EZRA (Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra): Jewish poet, grammarian, and commentator; b. in Toledo, Spain, 1092; d. Jan. 23, 1167. He left Toledo about 1138 and is known to have visited Bagdad, Rome (1140), Mantua and Lucca (1145), Dreux (45 m. w.s.w. of Paris; 1155-57), and London (1158); in 1166 he was in southern France. His poems show a mastery of the metrical art but have no inspiration, his grammatical works are not logically arranged, and his commentaries lack religious feeling. His exegetical principle was to follow the grammatical sense rather than the allegorical method of the Church; yet he resorts to figurative interpretation when the literal meaning is repugnant to reason. His critical insight is shown by hints that the Pentateuch and Isaiah contain interpolations (cf. H. Holzinger, Einleitung in den Hexateuch, Freiburg, 1893, pp. 28 sqq.; J. Furst, Der Kanon des Alten Testaments, Leipsic, 1868, p. 16), though he lacked the courage to say so openly. His chief importance is that he made the grammatical and religio-philosophical works of the Spanish Jews, written in Arabic, known outside of Spain. His commentaries (on the Pentateuch, Isaiah, the Minor Prophets, Job, Psalms, the five Megilloth, and Daniel) are usually found in rabbinic Bibles. His introduction to the Pentateuch has been edited by W. Bacher (Vienna, 1876); the commentary on. Isaiah, with Eng. trans. and two volumes of Essays on the Writings of Abraham ibn Ezra, by M. Friedlander (4 vols., London, 1873-77). His poems have been published by D. Rosin (4 parts, Breslau, 1885-91) and J: Egers (Berlin, 1886). (G. DALMAN.)

BIBLIOGRAPHY: L. Zuns, Die synagogale Poesie des Mittelalters, Berlin, 1855; S. I. Kampf, Nichtandalusische Poesie andalusischer Dichter, i. 213-240, Prague, 1858; M. Eisler, Vorlesungen uber die fudische Philosophie des Mittelalters, i. 113-120, Vienna, 1876; W. Bacher, Abraham ibn Ezra als Grammatiker, Strasburg, 1882; J. S. Spiegler, Geschichte der Philosophie des Judentums. pp. 263-265, Leip-


Page 10


the highest example. By his love, faithful to death, Christ has won merit with God; and because of this merit God forgives those who enter into communion with Christ and enables them to fulfil the law. It is in personal communion with Christ, therefore, that the real Atonement consists. Only such as let themselves be impressed with the love of Christ enter into this communion. By the curse of the law from which Christ frees, Abelard understands the Mosaic religion with its hard punishments. Inasmuch as Christ made an end of the Mosaic religion, he abolished its punishments also.

III. Writings: A practically complete edition of the works of Abelard (including certain writings which are spurious or of doubtful origin) was furnished by Victor Cousin in the Ouvrages inedits d'Abelard (Paris, 1836) and Petri Abelardi opera nunc primum in unum collecta (2 vols., 1849-59); the Opera, from the edition of A. Duchesne and F. Amboise (Paris, 1616), with Opuscula published later, are in MPL, clxxviii. (lacks the Sic et non, that brilliant piece of skeptical writing). Particular works have been published as follows: the Theologia Christiana and the Hexameron, ed. Martene and Durand, in the Thesaurus novus anecdotorum, v. (Paris, 1717); the Ethica (Scito te ipsum), ed. B. Pez, in the Thesaurus anecdotorum novissimus, iii. (1721); the Dialogus and the Epitome or Sententioe, ed. F. H. Rheinwald (Berlin, 1831,1835); the Sic et non, ed. T. Henke and G. S. Lindenkohl (Marburg, 1851; incomplete in Cousin's edition, 1836); the Historia calamitatum, ed. Orelli (Zurich, 1841); the Planctus virginum Israel super filia Jeptoe Galaditoe, ed. W. Meyer and W. Brambach (Munich, 1886); the Hymnarius paraclitensis, ed. G. M. Dreves (Paris, 1891); the Tractatus de unitate et trinitate divina, ed. R. Stolzle (Freiburg, 1891). The letters have been often published in the original Latin and in translation (Latin, ed. R. Rawlinson, London, 1718; Eng., ed. H. Mills, London, 1850; ed. H. Morton, New York, 1901; Germ., with the Historia calamitatum, ed. P. Baumgartner, Reclam, Leipsic, 1894; French, with Latin text, ed. Grerard, Paris, 1885); and selections will be found in some of the works cited in the bibliography below.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Berington, . . . Lives o/ Abeillard and Heloise, with . . . Their Letters, 2d ed., Birmingham, 1788; C. de Remusat, Abelard, 2 vols., Paris, 1845 (the standard biography); J L. Jacobi, Abelard and Heloise, Berlin, 1850; F. P. G. Guisot, Lettres d'Abailard et d'Heloise, precedees d'un essai historique, Paris, 1839, 1853; C. Prantel, Geschichte der Logik im Abendlande, ii. 160-204, Leipsic, 1861; O. W. Wight, Abelard and Heloise, New York, 1861 ; E. Bonnier. Abelard et St. Bernard, Paris, 1862; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, v. 321-326, 399-435; A. Stockl, Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters, i. 218-272, Mains, 1864; H. Reuter, Geschichte der religiosen Aufklarung im Mittelalter, i. 183-259, Berlin, 1875; E. Vacaudard. Abelard et sa lutte avec St. Bernard, sa doctrine, sa methode, Paris, 1881; S. M. Deutsch, Peter Abelard, Leipsic, 1883; A. S. Richardson, Abelard and Heloise, with a Selection of their Letters, New York, 1884; J. G. Compayre, Abelard and the . . . History of Universities, London, 1893; A. Hausrath, Peter Abelard Leipsic, 1895; Joe. McCabe, Peter Abelard, New York, 1901 (an excellent book); Hauck, KD, iv. 409 sqq.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely