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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the book Rethinking Abelard: A Collection of Critical Essays, which surveys Peter Abelard's career to show how his extraordinary versatility enchanted and distressed his public. The book is divided into four sections, all of them dealing with the effort of putting Abelard back into his time, while at the same time pointing to his distinctive features. The first section incorporates four contributions in which scholars try to connect Peter Abelard's use of language and thought to a broader historical and scholarly setting. The second section focuses on the tensions that lie at the heart of Abelard's texts. The third section analyzes the absorption of theological and dogmatic models as Abelard shaped these models into a language of his own. The last section discusses the theme of poetics and poetry.

Keywords: dogmatic model; Peter Abelard; poetics; poetry

10.1163/9789004262713_002
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