ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

192. The Rigorist Theologians. -- The abuses of the dialectic method inspired many with an excessive timidity about the use of it. We have first some higher mystics, like Walter of St. Victor, who were for condemning all natural knowledge, but were not heeded (§2). Citeaux and Fonteavellana were the headquarters of this phase of reaction. We have especially the very influential group of rigorist theologians who, with Stephen of Tournai, were incensed against the "makers of new Summae"{1} St. Bernard, Arnold of Bonneval, Hugh of Amiens, Godfrey of Auxerre, John of Cornouailles, Peter the Chanter or Peter of Rheims,{2} all blamed the dialectic method for the theological errors of Roscelin, Abelard and Gilbert de la Porrée. Whence many went on to condemn philosophy itself for daring to intrude on the theological domain.

But this was carrying accusations too far. Philosophy was not responsible for errors in theology; nor could the abuse of the dialectic method arrest or condemn the right use of it.

{1} Epist. ad R. Pont., quoted by PORTALIÉ, op. cit., col. 55.

{2} DELATOUR. Pierre le Chantre (Bibl. Éc. Chartes, 1897), and GUTJAHR, Petrus Cantor Parisiensis (Gratz, 1898).

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