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Abelard and the Jews

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with Peter Abelard's theologies, where he compares the Jews to the philosophers both in knowledge of the divine nature and the Trinity, as well as in their ethical principles and behavior. It then discusses Abelard's Collationes in the dialogue between the Philosopher and the Jew, connecting and comparing it to the Commentary on Romans; both these texts are concerned as well with the comparison between Jews and gentiles in relation to reason and righteousness. The chapter further argues that the different versions of the theology show some changes of tone and emphasis and that it is the drive to use and defend reason, dialectic, and pre-Christian philosophical sources that shifts Abelard's view of the Jews. Finally, it concludes with some thoughts about how Abelard's commitments to reason and philosophy both broaden his appreciation of the Jews and yet moves him toward devaluing their tradition.

Keywords: Collationes; Hebrew scripture; Jews; Judaism; Peter Abelard; philosophy



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