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Robert of Melun (Hereford)


English theologian, bishop of Hereford from 1163; b. c. 1100; d. Feb. 27, 1167. Beginning in 1142 he taught theology in Melun, France, enjoying great renown as a teacher. He criticized the teachings of Peter abelard on original sin and Christ's person and of gilbert de la porrÉe on Trinitarian doctrines, and the claim of peter lombard that the power to sin was a true power coming from God. Robert's best theological elaboration is in his Sentences (115260), invaluable as a source of contemporary theological doctrines. In this work he criticized current theological teaching for superficiality, lack of synthesis, overuse of glosses, failure to search for truth, and excessive cult of literature. Though his exegesis was in the Platonic spirit of the school of Chartres, he also relied on St. Augustine. His writings were widespread, although they never became manuals as did the works of Peter Lombard. Nor, because of the excellence and popularity of Lombard's school and his own departure for England, did Robert ever become the head of a school. His is the glory of having made a notable advance in theological method. Of philosophical interest is his opposition to the nominalism of roscelin. He also followed the then-common interpretation of Boethius's distinction between quod est and quo est, or esse., whereby the quo est is the form of the whole (forma totius ).

Bibliography: Oeuvres de Robert de Melun, ed. r. m. martin, Spicilegium sacrum Lovaniense, 3 v. in 4 (Louvain 193252) v. 1 Quaestiones de divina pagina, v. 2 Quaestiones (theologice ) de epistolis Pauli (1938) v. 3: 12 Sententie (194752), ed. with r. m. gallet. j. de ghellinck, Le Mouvement théologique du XII e siècle (Bruges 1948); L'Essor de la littérature latine au XII e siècle (Brussels-Paris 1946). 1:5557, with bibliog. f. anders, ed., Die Christologie des Robert von Melun (Paderborn 1927). f. p. bliemetzrieder, "Robert de Melun und die Schule Anselms von Laon," Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 53 (1934): 154163. a. m. landgraf, "Familienbildung bei Paulinenkommentaren des 12. Jahrhunderts: Robert von Melun und seine Schule," Biblica 13 (1932): 169193. r. m. martin, "Pro Petro Abaelardo: Un Plaidoyer de Robert de Melun contre s. Bernard," Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 12 (1923): 308333. p. w. nash, "The Meaning of Est in the Sentences (11521160) of Robert of Melun," Mediaeval Studies 14 (1952): 129142. u. horst, Die Trinittsund Gotteslehre des Robert von Melun (Mainz 1964); Gesetz und Evangelium: Das Alte Testament in der Theologie des Robert von Melun (Munich 1971).

[p. w. nash]

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