The Saint vs. the Scholar: The Fight between Faith and Reason
Bernard has accused Peter of heresy and “insolence before God,” a charge for which Bernard has the power to order Peter executed. This intense, emotional and partisan clash between two men, the ways in which the Scholar provokes the Saint’s outrage, and the final outcome of the battle, will change the course of history—and frame the conflict between reason and faith that continues to inflame passions to this day.
Jon M. Sweeney, author of The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation and Inventing Hell, makes the case that Christians cannot understand who we are today, or how we balance what we believe with what we say, without shining a light on what might otherwise pass completely unnoticed: this small but significant episode in our history.
And there is, in fact, hope to be gleaned from the study of these two giants of medieval thought. How much, it turns out, Bernard and Peter actually shared in common! Sweeney points out delicacies of their spiritualities that actually link them in ways they never would have appreciated during their lifetimes. It is these delicacies, as well as what prevented the two men from recognizing them, that provide insights into exactly how we modern Christians might still recover from this regrettable—and avoidable—conflict that has reverberated through the ages.
The audio edition of this book can be downloaded via Audible.
Stock #: B36967
Have started Hermann Hesses;s Narcissus and Goldmand. Saint Hildegard Von Bingen is still my favorite
Most enjoyable. I had no idea the faith vs reason arguments went back so far in church history and that they got so violent.
Reminded me so much of the harm and division we all can cause each other by being so immovable or intractable. (Similar story would be Cardinal Humbert, legate of Pope Leo I who in many ways caused the 1054 East-West Schism, or even the inevitable martyrdom of Joan of Arc). I thought it was a great read, really touched on the personalities, their perspectives, but also the times they were living.
Some of the politics (yep both religious and state) and religious perspectives may be a little deep for some (as to why they would get bogged down or put the book down), but otherwise it was not something for most of us to schlogg through, but really entertaining.