In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS Peter Lombard. By MARCIA L. COLISH. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994. Pp. 893 (2 vols.). $228.75 (cloth). The four books of the Sentences of Peter Lombard, which received their final form ca. 1158, were the standard theological textbook for several centuries . Friedrich Stegmiiller's Repertorium Commentariorum in Sententias Petri Lombardi (1947) lists hundreds of extant commentaries, starting within a few years of the completion of Lombard's work (178 commentaries are listed from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries alone); the Sentences were used and commented on in the schools ofWestern Christendom until well into the seventeenth century. Peter Lombard's work is essentially a compilation of older sources, from the Scriptures and Augustine down to several of Lombard's older contemporaries (such as Hugh of Saint Victor, the Summa Sententiarum, and Gratian's Concordantia Discordantium Canonum). The importance of this work is not so much its material, since very little of it is original with Lombard himself, but rather Peter Lombard's organization of the material and his ability to present the areas of conflict and controversy while supplying a brief and objective summary of the relevant opinions and his own solutions. Marcia Colish's two volumes, volumes 41 and 42 in the Brill Studies in Intellectual History series, answer two important needs in the study of mediaeval theology: her study makes Peter Lombard's thought accessible in English (since the Sentences have yet to be translated into English apart from scattered extracts), and the mid-twelfth-century context of the theological issues the Lombard addresses is presented in each case, with completeness and care. The lengthy bibliography at the end of the second volume is a further welcome part of this work. In fairness to the author as well as to the mediaeval commentators, Colish's work cannot be classified as a "Commentary on the Sentences," however much it may at first glance appear to be so. The work begins with a biographical introduction, summarizing the sources for information on the life and work of Peter Lombard (ca. 1095-1160), canon and later bishop of Paris, and master of the Sentences. The glossae on the letters ofSaint Paul and on the Psalter are then considered, with emphasis on some of the textual problems of their composition and transmission, along with a presentation of significant themes. Two chapters follow on the theological language and method of the Master, and the remainder of the two volumes presents the Sentences section by section. Each topic is considered first in its historical 317 318 BOOK REVIEWS context (with the state of the question presented by a chronological survey of relevant writers), and then with Lombard's determination and response. The final chapter summarizes, by recapitulation, the highlights of the Sentences. The author takes full advantage of the work of Ignatius Brady and the footnotes in the critical edition produced by the Franciscan editors in Grottaferrata. Colish's work is the first full-scale work in English on Peter Lombard since the completion of the critical edition of the Sentences in 1981, and makes many of Brady's findings available to a wider audience. In particular, Colish does a fine job summarizing the debate on whether consent or consummation makes marriage. The labyrinthine and tortuous development of this question, trying to uphold both scriptural authority (particularly asserting the validity of the marriage between Mary and Joseph) and quite evident human experience, is clearly and succinctly presented. Many of the sources are presented via Gratian, however; this may be because they are found most conveniently in that collection. This summary of the question and presentation of Lombard's views may be read with profit by both the expert and the novice. There are several serious drawbacks to this work, whatever title one may wish to attach to it. The first has to do with the author's rewriting of Lombard. Although most of the work follows the Sentences in structure and organization, Colish transposes several portions of the Sentences to create her own structure and fit her particular system. The most obvious instance of this is the treatment of sin, which Lombard takes up at the end of book 2; Colish defers...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 317-320
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.