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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Medievalists have projected the notion of ‘intellectuals’ back into the middle ages, with various meanings. In this chapter, masters and students of theology are taken as ‘intellectuals’, and ‘simple’ adherents to faith as the ‘masses’. The chapter looks at a mode of thought—theologians and others thinking about people in general blocs—and examines in particular a line of intellectual thought based upon a discussion in Peter Lombard’s Sentences concerning ‘the faith of simple people’: the ways in which medieval ‘intellectuals’ thought about the faith of the ‘masses’. The chapter emphasizes the degree to which Lombard’s discussion, and further commentaries upon this, were the framework of intellectual medieval thought. Finally, the chapter points to other ways of conducting a conversation between medievals and moderns on the theme of clerical intellectuals and the masses.

Keywords: Peter Lombard, medieval thought, belief, quodlibet, inquisition, mendicants

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