Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury during the late 11th century, is known for presenting logical argument for the existence of God. He is sometimes referred to as the father of medieval scholasticism.
Peter Abelard, a scholastic renowned for his teaching of rhetoric and dialectic, disagreed with some of Anselm's ideas. Daring in both thinking and speech, Abelard's arguments reached and exceeded the accepted limits of thought, particularly as pertaining to the doctrine of the Trinity. Unrelenting in his criticism, he made enemies easily and, combined with a scandal involving a love affair with one of his pupils, he was censured and driven into exile. Still, his influence on the philosophers and theologians of his day was great.
The son of Count Landulf of an old aristocratic Italian family and Countess Theodora, a woman of noble Norman descent, Thomas Aquinas had intended, at an early age, to join the Dominican Order, but on the way to Rome he was seized by his brothers and brought back to his parents, where he was held captive for a couple of years, besieged with prayers, threats, and even sexual temptations to make him relinquish his purpose.
Finally, his parents relented, and the Order sent him to study under Albertus Magnus in Cologne. He remained with this famous philosopher of scholasticism, probably teaching, for several years. His intelligence was often hidden by a fat, slow, and serious appearance, yet he received great acclaim as a medieval thinker, bringing together rational and revealed truth.