Brother Peter Abelard

Brother Peter AbelardProfile

Philosopher and theologian. While still quite young, c.1101, he established schools of his own at Melun and Corbeil, and in 1108 at Mount Sainte Genevieve, all in France. Later he taught at the cathedral school in Paris, where he enjoyed great fame as a teacher of rhetoric and logic. At the height of his popularity when still a cleric in the minor orders, he fell in love with Heloise, niece of Canon Fulbert; the discovery of their alliance wrecked his academic career. Abelard became a Benedictine monk, while Heloise became a nun.

Abelard’s knowledge of theology was not as great as his eloquence, and his orthodoxy was questioned by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who obtained a condemnation at Rome of some of his teachings. He was of a restless and quarrelsome disposition. Teacher of the future Pope Celestine II. His Story of My Calamities has invested his career with romantic interest, but it shows how he was constantly provoking opposition. Though more brilliant than solid, he was an important contributor to Scholastic method, an opponent of obscurantism, and a continuator of the Carolingian renaissance. He spent his last years at Cluny Abbey.



Additional Information

  • New Catholic Dictionary
  • books

    • Famous Catholics, Australian Catholic Truth Society, 1964

MLA Citation

  • “Brother Peter Abelard“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 November 2017. Web. 18 April 2021. <>