Abelard and Heloise

Topics: Peter Abelard, Bible, Theology Pages: 2 (747 words) Published: May 1, 2007
Abelard's Historia calamitatum mearum and his letter exchanges with Heloise are very intense and wonderful views in to the past. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise encompass many themes, but one theme that threads through all the letters is their reliance on the authority of Theology and its effect on their relationship. This is obvious through many sections in their letters. The letters and his story of his misfortunes is a true love story it seems everything terrible is out to get them. The Catholic Church, gender relations, and scholastic culture were the main focus of their lives as was reflected in their letters. Many cultural normalities of the time can be gathered from their letters. The Catholic Church was the main focus of their lives. Abelard considered their lives in relation to God while Heloise considered their lives in relation to each other. The letters reveal two strongly contrasting personalities and theologies. Abelard's themes are centered on Biblical authority, Satan's persecution, and surrender to God; he focuses beyond the world of God. Heloise holds up her personal will as well as her love, and sees the world in terms of the actions people make, not of God and Satan. She concentrates on personal relationships within the present world. Abelard was a teacher of theology in the medieval university while Heloise may be considered as a student of his. In this teaching from his letters Abelard draws an analogy between monks and their humility. Abelard's letters use only one authority to demonstrate his theological views. Abelard places his primary views in the Bible; he quotes Biblical material several times in his letters especially his Historia calamitatum mearum. The letters also use the authority of the Church regarding the efficiency of prayer and Abelard's personal authority. Heloise only rarely quotes the Bible. In her letters Heloise says, "Wholly guilty though I am, I am also, as you know, wholly innocent." She also recognizes...
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