Peter Lombard was allegedly one of the most important theologians of the Middle Ages. As Wikipedia states, he was:

Bishop of Paris, and author of Four Books of Sentences, which became the standard textbook of theology, for which he earned the accolade Magister Sententiarum. [...]

From the 1220s until the 16th century, no work of Christian literature, except for the Bible itself, was commented upon more frequently. All the major medieval thinkers, from Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas to William of Ockham and Gabriel Biel, were influenced by it. Even the young Martin Luther still wrote glosses on the Sentences, and John Calvin quoted from it over 100 times in his Institutes.

Later on the article mention just one doctrines with seem to be relatively controversial, but yet far from being declared heretic. It is know that even St. Augustine wrote things which are not in line with current official teaching or dogmas.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states about him:

On the whole and in spite of his connection with Abelard, he is orthodox; a proposition of his on "Christological nihilism" was condemned by Alexander III; other theses were abandoned in the century that followed; St. Bonaventure mentions eight of them and the University of Paris later added others. But the success of the book was incontestable; down to the sixteenth century it was the textbook in the university courses, upon which each future doctor had to lecture during two years.

Later on, the article states:

[T]he success of Peter Lombard was not immediate. Attacked sometimes during his lifetime, as Maurice of Sully among others relates, after his death he was bitterly inveighed against, especially by Gautier of St. Victor and by Joachim of Flora. This opposition even went so far as to try to get his writings condemned. In 1215 at the Lateran Council these attempts were baffled, and the second canon began a profession of faith in these words: "Credimus cum Petro [Lombardo]".

So he or his writings (except one or two points, it seems) were never really condemned. And yet, he seem to have never got ground for reverence among other great theologians of the Middle Ages. Is this the case? How can we explain this?

  • 1
    @Gordon Fr. Alister McGrath is an Anglican priest and could be well bias in his thoughts towards Catholicism. – Ken Graham Apr 1 '19 at 19:32
  • The only way to actually verify this question is to check it out in the Index ac Status Causarum Beatificationis Servorum dei et Canonizationis Beatorum. It will take me a few week to check it out, if I actually remember to do so – Ken Graham Apr 1 '19 at 19:44
  • 1
    @Gordon The Neo-Modernist, not-quite-ex-Lutheran Louis Bouyer thought all of Thomism is "boring", too, which doesn't say much. Peter Lombard is very well-respected. – Geremia Apr 1 '19 at 20:20

According to

Bishop Lucensis commended Peter Lombard, who was from a poor family, to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who wrote a "note of recommendation" (billet de recommandation)* for Peter Lombard to the Abbot of St. Victor, in which he called Peter Lombard a "vir venerabilis" ("venerable man").

*St. Bernard's letter: Epist., CDX, P. L., t. CLXXXII, cols. 618C-619B, c. 1115, when Peter Lombard was 25-30 years old

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Interesting, but no answer to the question. "vir venerabilis" is just a formulation in a "note of recommendation", but has nothing to do with veneration after death. – K-HB Apr 2 '19 at 10:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.