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Mathematical TheologiesNicholas of Cusa and the Legacy of Thierry of Chartres$
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David Albertson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199989737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199989737.001.0001

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Thierry’s Trinitarian Theology in Context

Thierry’s Trinitarian Theology in Context

(p.93) 4 Thierry’s Trinitarian Theology in Context
Mathematical Theologies

David Albertson

Oxford University Press

This chapter contextualizes Thierry of Chartres’s acclaimed Trinitarian theology (God as the equation of arithmetical unity and unity’s self-equality). Far from being an abstract formula, Thierry’s triad is the fruit of his attempt to overcome a discursive divide between ancient Platonism and Christian Trinitarian commitments. What characterizes the so-called “School of Chartres” of twelfth-century Christian humanism is its interest in the aesthetics of autonomous mediation, including preeminently mathematical mediation through the quadrivium. A generation before Thierry, Bernard of Chartres’s groundbreaking gloss on the Timaeus revealed the tension between Platonist esteem for mathematics and Christian veneration of the Logos. To overcome this divide, Thierry’s hexaemeral commentary recovered the Nicomachean elements still resident in Boethius and Augustine and thereby reconstructed a mathematical theology of the Trinity, a veritable Christian Neopythagoreanism. This enterprise distinguished Thierry from contemporaries like William of Conches and Alan of Lille.

Keywords:   School of Chartres, Bernard of Chartres, hexaemeral commentary, Timaeus

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