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Bene Vivere Et Bene Docere: The Role Of The Liberal Arts In Biblical Exegesis

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Chapter Summary

Lanfranc's school at Bec is looked to as one of the more tangible examples of eleventh-century learning. Lanfranc was the teacher of St. Anselm, certainly the most gifted early synthesizer of the arts and theology. According to his contemporaries, Lanfranc's reputation in the arts was associated with his emerging expertise as an exegete. Lanfranc depicted the difference between God's wisdom and the world's wisdom by contrasting the true Christian teacher to those teachers who misapplied the methods of the liberal arts to doctrine. Decades later, Berengar and Lanfranc strenuously debated the role of the liberal arts in theology in their eucharistic treatises. Certainly, the commentary contributes to an analysis of Lanfranc as the conservative churchman whose abilities with the arts, and enthusiasm regarding their contribution to the theological enterprise, were eclipsed by his sense of pastoral responsibility.

Keywords: biblical exegesis; Lanfranc; liberal arts; theology



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