Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


First paragraph:

On the second of June in the year 1140, a Council of the Church in Sens formally condemned as heretical nineteen propositions from the works of Peter Abelard, philosopher, theologian, and teacher of unparalleled popularity. Denying emphatically that his teaching varied in any way from that of the Church, Abelard appealed to Rome, only to have Innocent II uphold the decision of the Council. He upheld the condemnation of Abelard’s works, ordered his writings to be burned, forbade him ever again to teach, and, finally, ordered him to perpetual penance. The condemnation of Abelard can be laid to the vehement opposition of one man, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, for it was Bernard who had first publically denounced Abelard, Bernard who had presented the offensive articles to the Council, and Bernard who had instructed the pope in the errors of Abelard's theology. Saint Bernard had in turn been aroused against the theological teachings of Abelard and urged to defend the Church against his errors by an obscure Cistercian monk of the hidden abbey of Signy, William of St. Thierry.

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