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John of Salisbury and Theology

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Chapter Summary

In order to clarify the conception of theology, this chapter examines John of Salisbury's theological training. It identifies the traces of scholastic theology in his work, so as to relate them to his scepticism. John of Salisbury gives a brief description of his three theology teachers Gilbert of Poitiers, Robert Pullen, and Simon of Poissy, and the part played by theology in his curriculum. Although a real insistence on this dual approach can certainly be found in Peter of Celle, John of Salisbury returns more directly to a double source in Bernard of Chartres and Hugh of Saint-Victor. John of Salisbury openly professes scepticism on many occasions in the Metalogicon and the Policraticus, asserting the mode of philosophy practised by the Academy, on the model of Cicero. Lastly, with particular reference to the Policraticus, the chapter demonstrates what constitutes a political theology.

Keywords: Bernard of Chartres; Gilbert of Poitiers; John of Salisbury; Metalogicon; Policraticus; political theology; Robert Pullen; scepticism; Simon of Poissy



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