Richard Fishacre and Peter Abelard

Peter Abelard’s theological works were criticized by William of Saint-Thierry and Bernard of Clairvaux. This criticism led to the eventual condemnation of Abelard at the Council of Sens in 1140. A useful summary of the condemnation and the charge of heresy can be found in the final chapter “Accusations of Heresy” in Contant Mews’ Abelard and Heloise (Oxford), pp. 226-249. Given the condemnation of Abelard, medieval theologians in the thirteenth century often hesitated to mention him by name or to even discuss his ideas. In the manuscript tradition, there are few explicit references to Abelard extant.

Steve Brown, R. Jim Long and I are currently editing book I of Fishacre’s commentary on the Sentences. In distinction 43 of book I of his commentary, Fishacre somewhat startlingly breaks the silence and cites Peter Abelard by name. I present here two snippets of Vatican 294, f. 80ra and Oriel 43, f. 109ra, for those in need of ‘ocular proof.’

Vatican 294 (line 6):

BAV, Ottob. 294, fol. 80ra

Oriel 43 (line 5):

Oriel 43, fol. 109ra

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