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94. Peter the Venerable


Subject History of Philosophy » Ancient and Medieval (pre-C17th)

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631216735.2005.00105.x


Peter the Venerable, also known as Pierre Maurice de Montboissier (b. ca. 1092; d. 1156), was elected Abbot of Cluny in 1122. He brought about reforms within the congregation of Cluny, but resisted the more anti-intellectual trends of many of his contemporaries, the most notable of whom was bernard of clairvaux . Peter was noted as one of the most reasonable and peaceful men of his day. He will always be remembered for securing reconciliation for Abelard and welcoming him into Cluny for the last two years of his life. For biographical information see Torrel and Bouthillier (1986 , pp. 3–104), and Constable (in 1967, vol. 2, pp. 233–348). In 1142 Peter journeyed to Spain, where he became interested in the work of the Toledan translators, and commissioned the first translation of the Koran into Latin. Subsequently, Peter composed his polemic against the Islamic faith, Liber contra sectam sive haeresim Sarracenorum. He earlier had composed two other polemical works, one against the views of the heresiarch Peter de Bruis, Tractatus contra Petrobrusianos haereticos (ca. 1134); and another addressed to Jews, Liber adversus Judaeorum inveteratam duritiem (ca. 1143). As Kritzeck (1964 , pp. 26–7, 196) notes, Peter's books addressed to the Jews and to Muslims are marked by their good will as well as by the pains he took to familiarize himself with the Talmudic and Islamic literary ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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