The Spirit of Medieval Man
between reason and faith
Middle Ages were the epoch of experimentation and one of the greatest of these
was the encounter between reason and faith. The fascinating development of
theology and philosophy is of the greatest interest in the medieval epoch, and
not only in the Roman Occident because of its Carolingian theology, its
universities and scholasticism but also in the Greek Orient, in the Jewish and
Islamic worlds where were born great theological and philosophical personalities
such as Maimonides (Jewish), Averroes and Avicena (Islamic) or the great
thinkers of Greek Orthodoxy such as St. Gregory Palamas and St. Theodor Studita.
In the Middle Ages, however, it was the Occident which wielded the greater
influence combining as it did a continuation of Biblical studies with the study
of the seven liberal arts and reflection on the “auctoritates”. This method
initiated by Severinus Boethius, developed by Alcuin and further by St. Anselm
of Aosta finds its most complete application in scholasticism.
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