Theology Becoming Humanism

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The predominantly Augustinian patristic tradition of the twelfth century includes a fully negative valuation of the human nature as fallen. The utterly positive view of re-created nature, however, fits well into the twelfth century renaissance, especially in its famous fascination of human love. Significant theologians such as the Cistercian monk William of Saint-Thierry (c. 1080-1148), the Master of the Sentences, the Parisian bishop Peter Lombard (c. 1100-1160), and the canon regular prior Richard of Saint-Victor (c. 1110-1173) are all conservative and Augustinian in their theological anthropology and, at the same time, their main works clearly show an enthusiasm for the dignity of humanity in the experience of the renewal of the human nature. Most evidently, their analyses of human inter-personal love as direct sources of knowledge of the divine nature itself are signs of a new far-reaching theological humanism in Western intellectual history.

Keywords: Intellectual Theology, Twelfth Century, Theological Anthropology
Stream: History, Historiography
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Aage Rydstrøm-Poulsen

Chair of Department and Associate Professor, Department of Theology, The University of Greenland
Nuuk, Greenland, Greenland

A graduate of the University of Copenhagen, Dr Rydstrøm-Poulsen is associate professor of church history and head of the Department of Theology at The University of Greenland. In addition to research and teaching he has edited books and articles on Western history of theology, especially of the twelfth century. His research specialization is the intellectual history of the high middle ages.

Ref: H08P0184