Famous for their love affair and their letter exchange, Heloise, abbess of the Paraclete, and Abelard, monk and scholar, are less known for their on-going monastic relationship. Abelard's letters of direction to Heloise and her nuns were complemented by the liturgical music he composed for them. This study of Abelard as musician and spiritual director underlines the importance liturgical song has in forming the virtues of obedience, penitence, and humility as well as highlighting Abelard's mastery of rhetoric, poetry and melody.
Thomas Bell holds degrees in music and theology from Emory University, the University of North Carolina, and Duke Divinity School. He is associate professor of religion at Brevard College in North Carolina.