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Abelard and Finding the True Career - Essay Example

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This paper encompasses a discussion of Abelard and Finding the True Career from The letters of Abelard and Heloise. The true career will be examined and the examination will encompass the first five letters from the book…
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Abelard and Finding the True Career

Download file to see previous pages... His father, Berengar, was lord of the village, his mother's name was Lucia; both afterwards entered the monastic state. Peter, the oldest of their children, was intended for a military career, but, as he himself tells us, he abandoned Mars for Minerva, the profession of arms for that of learning. Accordingly, at an early age, he left his father's castle and sought instruction as a wandering scholar at the schools of the most renowned teachers of those days. Among these teachers was Roscelin the Nominalist, at whose school at Locmenach, near Vannes, Abelard certainly spent some time before he proceeded to Paris. Although the University of Paris did not exist as a corporate institution until more than half a century after Abelard's death, there flourished at Paris in his time the Cathedral School, the School of Ste. Genevive, and that of St. Germain des Pr, the forerunners of the university schools of the following century. The Cathedral School was undoubtedly the most important of these, and thither the young Abelard directed his steps in order to study dialectic under the renowned master (scholasticus) William of Champeaux. Soon, (New Advent) however, the youth from the province, for whom the prestige of a great name was far from awe-inspiring, not only ventured to object to the teaching of the Parisian master, but also attempted to set up as a rival teacher. Finding that this was not an easy matter in Paris, he established his school first at Melun and later at Corbeil. This was, probably, in the year 1101. The next couple of years Abelard spent in his native place "almost cut off from France", as he says. The reason of this enforced retreat from the dialectical fray was failing health. On returning to Paris, he became once more a pupil of William of Champeaux for the purpose of studying rhetoric. When William retired to the monastery of St. Victor, Abelard, who meantime had resumed his teaching at Melun, hastened to Paris to secure the chair of the Cathedral School. Having failed in this, he set up his school in Mt. Ste. Genevieve (1108). There and at the Cathedral School, in which in 1113 he finally succeeded in obtaining a chair, he enjoyed the greatest renown as a teacher of rhetoric and dialectic. Before taking up the duty of teaching theology at the Cathedral School, he went to Laon where he presented himself to the venerable Anselm of Laon as a student of theology. Soon, however, his petulant restiveness under restraint once more asserted itself, and he was not content until he had as completely discomfited the teacher of theology at Laon as he had successfully harassed the teacher of rhetoric and dialectic at Paris. Taking Abelard's own account of the incident, it is impossible not to blame him for the temerity which made him such enemies as Alberic and Lotulph, pupils of Anselm, who, later on, appeared against Abelard. The "theological studies" pursued by Abelard at Laon were what we would nowadays call the study of exegesis. (New Advent)
After examination of the information regarding Aberland's life it is clear that his intended role in life was one of the son of a wealthy man yet he chose teaching The question that needs to examined next is, as his true destiny to be a wealthy son and in charge of the military and arms or was his true calling to be a teacher In his letters, it is easier to gain a better understanding of what his true career was. The letters from the two lovers to each other reveal some significance in the truth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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