Philosophy Theology



In the first Christian centuries being a philosopher was still a practical alternative to being a Christian. Philosophical systems offered intellectual, practical and moral codes for living. Yet by the Middle Ages in the West and the Orthodox East philosophy was largely incorporated into Christian belief. From the end of the Roman Empire to the Reformation and Renaissance of the sixteenth century Christian theologians had a virtual monopoly on higher education. The complex interaction between theology and philosophy, which was the result of the efforts of Christian leaders and thinkers to assimilate the most sophisticated ideas of science and secular learning into their own system of thought, is the subject of this book.

Augustine, as the most widely read author in the Middle Ages is the starting-point. Dr Evans then discusses the definitions of philosophy and theology and the classical sources to which the medieval scholar would have had access when studying philosophy and its theological implications. Part I ends with an analysis of the problems of logic, language and rhetoric. In Part II the sequence of topics - God, cosmos, man -follows the outline of the summa, or systematic course in theology, which developed from the twelfth century as a textbook framework.

Does God exist? What is he like? What are human beings? Is there a purpose to their lives? These are the great questions of philosophy and religion and the issues to which the medieval theologian addressed himself. From 'divine simplicity' to ethics and politics, this book is a lively introduction to the debates and ideas of the Middle Ages.

G. R. Evans is University Lecturer in History at the University of Cambridge. Her publications include Anselm (1989), The Thought of Gregory the Great (1986), Augustine on Evil (1983) and Alan of Lille (1983).


London and New York

First published 1993 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2001.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

Evans, G. R. Philosophy and Theology in the Middle Ages I. Title 189

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Philosophy and theology in the middle ages Evans, G. R. (Gillian Rosemary) p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Philosophy. Medieval. 2. Theology, Doctrinal-History-Middle Ages. 600-1500. I. Title. B721.E86 1993 189-dc20 92-14375

ISBN 0-415-08908-5 (Print Edition) 0-415-08909-3 (pbk) ISBN 0-203-03197-0 Master e-book ISBN ISBN 0-203-17803-3 (Glassbook Format)

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