Who were Medieval Theologians & What where they known for?

• A scholar, exegete, and historian
• The most important Christian scholar and writer of his era
• Wrote commentaries on the Bible, Known as “Father of English History”
• Also known as the “Venerable”
• Wrote on many issues including hymnology, geography, and natural phenomena

• Held to extreme doctrine of predestination; held to double predestination
• Studied under Ratramnus
• Was good at missionary activity

Anslem of Canterbury
• Archbishop of Canterbury, was one of the greatest of all the medieval theologians
• “Father of Scholastic Theology”
• Gave first serious attempt to give a rationale for the atonement
• Held to satisfaction theory of the atonement
• Tried to establish the being of God on purely rationalistic grounds with his ontological argument
• Encouraged Marian piety but opposed immaculate conception
• Known for statement, “Faith seeking understanding”

Peter Abelard
• Philosopher, theologian, and teacher
• Pioneer of medieval scholasticism
• Held to moral influence theory of the atonement
• Held to moderate realism-universals are concepts in the mind that have an objective Reality derived from a process of mental abstraction
• Said reason plays as large a role as revelation and tradition in determining truth
• Known for his tragic love affair with Heloise

Bernard of Clairvaux
• Wrote mystical, theological and devotional works
• Was the official preacher of the 2nd crusade
• Helped heal papal schism of 1130
• Known as “the hammer of heretics”
• Wrote hymns

Peter Lombard
• Organized patristic and medieval citations into a coherent statement of Christian belief
• One of the first to mention seven sacraments
• A student of Peter Abelard and Bernard of Clairvaux
• Some questioned his Christology and his view of the Trinity but 4th Lateran Council of 1215 declared his works orthodox
• Book of Sentences used in academic circles until Aquinas’s Summa came out

Saint Bonaventure
• Franciscan scholastic theologian who was a Platonist
• Believed in journey of the human soul toward God
• Held that creation could be explained by human reason
• Believed mystical illumination better than human wisdom
• Denied doctrine of Immaculate Conception

Thomas Aqunas
• Most important theologian of the Medieval era
• Said there were five proofs for God’s existence (including cosmological and teleological arguments)
• Brought Aristotelian philosophy to Christianity
• Argued for a close connection between faith and reason; nature reveals much about God’s existence and attributes (matters such as Trinity, though, must be revealed through special revelation)

Duns Scotus
• Most distinguished Oxford scholar
• Held to priority of the will over the intellect
• Contributed to Roman Catholic view of the Immaculate Conception
• Believed in possible worlds
• Said God’s attributes not provable by reason
• Known as the ‘subtle doctor’
• The term “dunce” comes from him and was invented by his detractors
• Opposed Aquinas on almost every point

William of Ockham
• Medieval English theologian
• Held to nominalism
• Famous for “Ockham’s Razor” in which he claims that hypotheses should not be multiplied endlessly. Thus, the simplest solution for a matter is better than complicated ones.
• Had conflict with Pope John XXII
• Believed in priority of divine will over divine intellect
• Contributed to discussions of divine omnipotence
• Influenced by Duns Scotus
• Died of Black Death

John Huss
• Early Czech reformer
• Attacked clerical abuses and immorality in the church
• Excommunicated by Pope Alexander V in 1410
• Held a blend of Protestant and Roman Catholic doctrines-argued against veneration of pope but accepted Purgatory; held to view similar to consubstantiation
• Stressed preaching and a pure life
• Was also a Bible translator
• Was influenced by Wycliff’s ideas

John Wycliffe
• Was known as the Morning Star of the Reformation because of his writings against transubstantiation and the pope
• Denied efficacy of the mass as well as rituals and ceremonies
• Saw church as predestined body of believers
• Said salvation is by grace
• Known as the author or inspirer of the first complete translation of the Bible into English
• Known as Evening Star of scholasticism.
• Was the last of the Oxford scholastics
• His followers were called Lollards
• Hus adopted his teachings



One Comment on “Who were Medieval Theologians & What where they known for?”

  1. […] 29, 2009 GCM posts this: Bede • A scholar, exegete, and historian • The most important Christian scholar and writer of […]

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