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Scholasticism was the method of teaching that dominated the schools of Western Europe from about 1100 until about 1600. Some scholars date it as early as the ninth century and include Alcuin and John Scotus Eriugina among the scholastics. But the distinctive scholastic texts that present authorities supporting apparently contradictory conclusions first arose in the twelfth century with such works as Peter Abelard's Sic et Non. Characteristic scholastic textbooks from the twelfth century confronted teachers and students with conflicting authorities in law (Gratian's Decretum) and theology (Lombard's Sentences). The strong, native tradition of twelfth-century logic and disputation was decisively influenced in the thirteenth century by the introduction of Aristotle's analytics, metaphysics and natural philosophy. Scholastic masters modeled the use of sophisticated logical methods to resolve such apparent contradictions. Students themselves were taught to defend views that they did not themselves hold in disputations. The "Schoolmen" were themselves Christians often strongly committed to the Christian mystical tradition and to the view that understanding could only be achieved by faith. However, the authoritative texts from which they taught included not only St. Augustine and the fathers of the church ("patristics") but also texts by Greek pagan thinkers and by physicians, lawyers, and theologians from the Islamic world (including its Jewish scholars). Scholastic universities awarded degrees in philosophy, theology, law (Roman and canon), and medicine. History and literature were seldom studied, though grammar was required and some acquaintance with all of the seven liberal arts was assumed. Philosophy itself gave birth to many now independent fields of study including physics and chemistry, politics and economics, biology and psychology. Students were taught to argue from reason, experience, and authority. The disputation, distinction, and deduction characteristic of scholasticism shaped university science and education for centuries. Still today we have much to learn from considering the arguments of scholastic thinkers on topics of perennial philosophical reflection. Even what is merely amusing and hopelessly antiquated in scholastic thought often continues to influence our cultural traditions.

Bernard of Clairvaux, O.Cist (1090 August 20, 1153) was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order. After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. "Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d'Absinthe, about 15 km southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Valle, which evolved into Clairvaux. There Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary."[1] In the year 1128, Bernard assisted at the Council of Troyes, at which he traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar, who soon became the ideal of Christian nobility. On the death of Pope Honorius II a schism broke out in the Church. Louis VI of Franceconvened a national council of the French bishops at tampes in 1130, and Bernard was chosen to judge between the rivals for pope. After the council of tampes, Bernard went to speak with the King of England, Henry I, Beauclerc, about the king's reservations regarding Pope Innocent II. Beauclerc was sceptical because most the bishops of England supported Anacletus II; he convinced him to support Innocent. Germany had decided to support Innocent through Norbert of Xanten, who was a friend of Bernard's. However, Innocent insisted on Bernard's company when he met with Lothair III of Germany. Lothair became Innocent's strongest ally among the nobility. Despite the councils of tampes, Wurzburg, Clermont, and Rheims all supporting Innocent, there were still large portions of the Christian world supporting Anacletus. At the end of 1131, the kingdoms of France, England, Germany, Castile, and Aragon supported Innocent; however, most of Italy, southern France, and Sicily, with the patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem, supported Anacletus. Bernard set out to convince these other regions to rally behind Innocent. The first person whom he went to was Gerard of Angoulme. He proceeded to write a letter, called Letter 126. This letter questioned Gerard's reasons for supporting Anacletus. Bernard would later comment that Gerard was his most formidable opponent during the

whole schism. After convincing Gerard, Bernard traveled to visit the Count of Poitiers. He was the hardest for Bernard to convince. He did not pledge allegiance to Innocent until 1135. After that, Bernard spent most of his time in Italy convincing the Italians to pledge allegiance to Innocent. He traveled to Sicily in 1137 to convince the king of Sicily to follow Innocent. The whole conflict ended when Anacletus died on January 25, 1138.[2] In 1139, Bernard assisted at the Second Council of the Lateran. Bernard denounced the teachings of Peter Abelard to the pope, who called a council at Sens in 1141 to settle the matter. Bernard soon saw one of his disciples elected as Pope Eugenius III. Having previously helped end the schism within the church, Bernard was now called upon to combat heresy. In June 1145, Bernard traveled in southern France and his preaching there helped strengthen support against heresy. Following the Christian defeat at the Siege of Edessa, the pope commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade. The last years of Bernard's life were saddened by the failure of the crusaders, the entire responsibility for which was thrown upon him. Bernard died at age 63, after 40 years spent in the cloister. He was the first Cistercian placed on thecalendar of saints, and was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. In 1830, Pope Pius VIII bestowed upon Bernard the title "Doctor of the Church".

The Decretum Gratiani or Concordia discordantium canonum (in some manuscriptsConcordantia discordantium canonum) is a collection of Canon law compiled and written in the 12th century as a legal textbook by the jurist known as Gratian. It forms the first part of the collection of six legal texts, which together became known as the Corpus Juris Canonici. It retained legal force in the Roman Catholic Church until Pentecost 1918, when a revised Code of Canon Law (Codex Iuris Canonici) promulgated by Pope Benedict XV on 27 May 1917 obtained the Force of Law.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, 1225 7 March 1274), alsoThomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Roman Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition ofscholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus ([the] Angelic Doctor), Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis.[5] "Aquinas" is both a Latin demonymfor a resident of Aquino, his place of birth, and a surname, as his family was among the noblest families of the Kingdom of Naples, with the title of "counts d'Aquino". He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory. Thomas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood. [6] The works for which he is best-known are the Summa theologiae and theSumma Contra Gentiles. As one of the 33 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This (Dominican) Order ... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools."