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Alain of Lille

1125-c.1203. Theologian and eclectic philosopher; sometimes called “Doctor Universalis” because of his encyclopedic learning. He may have been an auditor of Gilbert de la Porrée. He taught in Paris (c.1157-70) and Montpellier (c.1171- 85), took part in the Third Lateran Council (1179), and eventually entered the monastery at Cîteaux. He held a rational- mystical view of the relation of philosophy and religion, maintaining that the truths of religion are discoverable by unaided reason. Belonging to no particular school, his outlook was largely Neoplatonic, influenced especially by Boethius and Proclus, and his method was an accentuated dialectic. His works include sermons, poems, proverbs, besides philosophical and theological writings. He wrote Contra Haereticos against the Waldenses, Albigenses, Jews, and Muslims. His epic Anticlaudianos (c.1184) inspired Dante and Chaucer.

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