Book a Review:  The Saint Vs The Scholar

The Saint vs. the Scholar

The Fight between Faith and Reason
by Jon M. Sweeney

Franciscan Media

Christian , History

Pub Date 28 Apr 2017

I am volintarily reviewing a copy of The Saint vs. the Scholar through Franciscan Media and Netgalley:

Peter Abelard was born in 1079, and was Brittany born but mostly Parisian, prescholastic philosopher.

Bernard of Clairvaux was born in 1090 and was a rural French monk and abbot, and theologian who was in many ways like Peter.

William of Champeaux was born in 1070, a philospher, then monk, then Bishop who clashed with and was humiliated by Peter Aberlard.  William died in 1122.

Pope Innocent the Second was born in 1075, and was the Holy Pontiff between 1130 and 1143.  He was forced to flee Rome after a dubias Papal election that involved Bernard.

Pope Eugenius the third was born in 1080, a monk, then an abbot in the Montasarey of Clairvaux.  He would become the first Cisterian Pope in History.  He was Holy Father between (1145-1153).

Peter the Venerable was born in 1092, he was the Abbott of the Benectine Abbey of Cluncy, the largest and most powerful religious house of the world.  Bernegard born around 1055 was Peter’s Father.

Bernerard of Pottiers was born around 1120, and was one of Peter’s students in Paris, and one of his defenders after the episode with Bernard in Sens.

Heloise was born around 1100 was a brilliant French scholar, then nun, Abe’s, and writer who is sadly most remembered for the affair she had with Peter of Aberlad twenty years before the events in the story take place.

Hildegard of Bingen was born in 1098, she was a Rhineland Mystic who was not understood by many during her lifetime, but is now recognized as a model of faith, reason and spiritual understanding.  She never met or corespondended with Peter, but we did with Bernard.

In the opening of this story Peter has already entered his seventh decade, he is being slandered from Cologne to Rome and asks for a public forum to defend himself.

Peter Abelard eventually finds himself at Peter the Venerable’s Abby despite the fact that he once publicly denounced him.

Bernerards appearance was a study in contrasts.  He had a large forehead, resting above shallow cheeks he hard large eyes, and a large nose, but a small mouth.  He was a mystic of the highest order.

Berneard often worked secretly even dishonestly, trying to frighten those he wrote too.  Berneard and Peter were two men who truly did not like one another.  They shared some things in common like both being from the privileged class, and being raised with certain advantages, and they were both literate in a time when that was rare, but they did not see eye to eye.  Peter taught with creativity and improvising his lectures were not written or shared, and when they were occasionally written down in a manuscuprit culture centuries before the printing press.

Heloise sadly would become most well known for her affair with Peter. Peter and Heloise left Paris so Heloise could give birth quietly in Brittany.

In a time when parents would send children off to work for others to help with provisions, Berneard’s parents provided him with what he needed.

I give The Saint Vs the Scholar five out of five stars for a well researched, well written book.

Happy Reading.


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