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Controversial Theology

(1,053 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] is a branch of theology that judges differences between various Christian Churches from a polemical and argumentative point of view rather than analyzing them from a historically critical perspective. The “controversy” involved relates both to the object and the method of this discipline. Theological positions are discussed when they become significant in disturbing or dividing the church community, and not so much as contributions to an open scholarly debate. I. Although the term controversial theology did not become common until the 20th century, …

Canterbury

(535 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Seat of a bishopric in the county of Kent, England. Situated at an important road junction during the Roman period, Canterbury became the main settlement of the Cantiani in the first century ce and shows evidence of Christianization from the beginning of the 4th century. The conquest of Britain by the Anglo-Saxons dealt a severe blow to the development of the city. King Ethelbert made it the capital of the kingdom of Kent, while the Roman monk Augustine of Canterbury, a missionary dispatched by Pop…

Assisi

(184 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] is an Umbrian city on the western foothills of Monte Subasio. It was a Roman municipium and the home of the poet Propertius. Since the early 4th century it has been the seat of a bishopric (city patron: the martyred bishop Rufinus). In the early Middle Ages it belonged to the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto, was under Hohenstaufen dominion from 1172/…

Degrees, Academic

(1,180 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Academic degrees came into existence in the context of medieval education. Even before universities were established, teachers were generally given the title Magister; while the usual title in the stronghold of legal studies at Bologna was Doctor, which also was often applied to the teachers of the Early Church ( Doctores ecclesiae ). At the universities, which arose c. 1200, the master's degree was the highest degree granted by all the faculties, with a distinction between someone who was merely qualified to teach and a Magister actu regens (a professor engaged in …

Ficino, Marsilio

(391 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Oct 19, 1433, Figline Valdarno, Italy – Oct 1, 1499, Careggi, Italy). Ficino was the son of the personal physician of Cosimo de' Medici; the latter supported Ficino and prompted him to change his course of studies from medicine to philosophy. He acquired an extremely thorough knowledge of Greek and produced annotated translations of esp. Plato (1463–1469), Plotinus (1484–1486), and a series of other neo-Platonic authors. In Florence he founded a Platonic Academy (I, 5) in which h…

Baur, Ferdinand Christian

(1,665 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Jun 21, 1792, Schmiden, near Stuttgart – Dec 1, 1860, Tübingen). I. Life – II. Work – III. Influence I. Life The eldest son of a Württemberg pastor, Baur studied theology at Tübingen (1809–1814) and served briefly as a curate and Repetent (tutor). In 1817, he became professor at the Minor Seminary in Blaubeuren, where he taught ancient languages, laying the groundwork for his general erudition. Here, in 1821, he married Emilie Becher (18…

Speculum humanae salvationis

(256 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] the most important and widespread typological work of the late Middle Ages, combining texts and pictures. It borrowed the structure of the Biblia pauperum (Bible of the Poor), organized around salvation history, and expanded it thematically, in particular by including scenes from the life of Mary and the passion of Jesus; it also divided the text into tractates. The title and year of composition (1324) of the nova compilatio appear already in early 14th-century manuscripts. Whether it was compiled by German Dominicans (possibly associated with Lud…

Theologia deutsch

(423 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] An anonymous treatise from the late 14th century, preserved in eight medieval manuscripts. Luther arranged the first printing in 1516, based on a fragment subsequently lost (WA 1, 152f.: “a noble little spiritual book”) and the second in 1518, based on a complete manuscript (likewise lost; WA 1, 375–379: “Eyn deutsch Theologia”). After the Augsburg reprint in 1518 (“Theologia Teütsch”), the title Theologia deutsch became established. The first modern printing appeared in 1843, based on a manuscript formerly in Bronnbach, whose prologue identi…

Beuron

(293 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Augustinian Canons Regular institution founded c. 1077 in the Danube valley, which was never of transregional significance, was secularized in 1802 along with its 17th/18th century monastery and church (dedicated 1738) and promised to the principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1850, Prussian). Re-established as a Benedictine priory in 1863 under Prior Maurus Wolter, it was elevated in 1868 to an abbey and, during the exile of the monastery (1875–1887) forcibly elevated by the Kulturkampf , to archabbey. Linked from t…

Reformed Colleges in Germany

(481 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] One of the central demands of the Wittenberg and Swiss Reformation was thorough theological education of all future clergy. In Lutheran territories, Reformed theological faculties in ¶ the existing universities served this function, but initially in Reformed territories such institutions were largely lacking. Only three existing comprehensive universities intermittently offered Reformed instruction: Heidelberg from 1559 to 1578 and from 1583 to 1662, Marburg between 1605 and 1624 and again after 1653, Frank…

Monastic Theology

(759 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The concept of a théologie monastique was introduced by J. Leclercq, in a monograph on Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny ( Pierre le Vénérable, 1946); he subsequently developed it in studies of the monastic literature of the High Middle Ages, especially the work of Bernard of Clairvaux ( L'amour des lettres et le désir de Dieu, 1957; ET: The Love of Learning and the Desire for God, 1961). Since then it has proved its value as a key concept for understanding the theology of Bernard and medieval theology in general. It has long since been accepte…

Brendan, Saint

(169 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (483 – 577 or 583) founded several Irish monasteries and was abbot of Clonfert (County Galway). He is known to us from the legendary account of a seven-year voyage of Brendan and his companions to a paradisal island in the Atlantic ( Navigatio S. Brendani), written between the 7th and 10th centuries. The work relates more closely to the lives of the desert fathers and Old Irish seafaring literature than to Irish hagiography. It draws on classical …

Lay Brothers

(426 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] ( conversi) are, in the narrower sense, members of a religious community who are not ordained. In the course of history, however, the name fratres laici or conversi has designated various groups of persons. In the early medieval period, conversi were monks who, in contrast to ( pueri) oblati (Oblates: I) who were consigned to a monastery already as children, entered the monastery only as adults. In addition to this so-called “older institution of conversi,” a “younger institution of conversi” arose in the 11th century. It included members of the monastic familia who wer…

Scholasticism

(2,856 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Terminology and Assessment Ever since the emergence of medieval studies in the 19th century, the noun Scholasticism has been used as a collective term for a particular kind of scholarly method, especially in medieval philosophy (II) and theology. The adjective scholastic, on which it is based, has a history going back to Aristotle ( Politica, Ethica Nicomachea). The focus of Greek σχολαστικός and Latin scholasticus on the realm of academic instruction (“related to schools,” “educated,” etc.), central to the modern use of scholasticism, had already taken place…

Cles, Bernard of

(209 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Mar 11, 1485, Cles – Jul 30, 1539, Brixen). After studies in Verona and Bologna, he received the Dr. utriusque iuris in 1511; he became canon of the Cathedral in Trent in 1512, and bishop there in 1514/15. From 1514, as adviser to Maximilian I, he mediated between the emperor and the regime in Innsbruck and upper Italy. After collaborating in the election of Charles V in 1519, he became an adviser to Ferdinand I, in 1522 his chancellor and repre…

John of Fécamp

(176 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (after 990, near Ravenna – 1078, Fécamp). In 1017, John was sent from St. Bénigne in Dijon to be prior (from 1028 onward, abbot) in the La Trinité monastery in Fécamp and there became the most important proponent of Norman reform monasticism in the 11th century. His major works were Confessio theologica, Confessio fidei, Libellus de scripturis et verbis patrum collectus. Although John drew broadly on the tradition (esp. Augustine of Hippo and Gregory the Great) and did not yet make scholastic arguments, his markedly meditative theology had…

Quaestio

(422 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A true (as opposed to “rhetorical”) question (Gk ζήτημα/ zḗtēma, πρόβλημα/ próblēma, ἀπορία/ aporía, Lat. quaestio), seeking an answer that will solve a problem, is a fundamental tool for rational argumentation. It was used already by the ancient Greeks (beginning with the questions of Socrates in the dialogues of Plato) and rabbinic Judaism (in give and take between teacher and student). Formulation of questions became common early on in the theology of the Early Church (reaching a high point in Augustine, e.g. De diversis quaestionibus ad Simplicianum; Quaestione…

Antonites

(128 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Hospitallers), a lay brotherhood founded at the end of the 11th century in connection with the church of La-Motte-aux-Bois (since the 14th cent.: St.-Antoine-en-Viennois), which possessed the relics of the desert father Antonius. They cared for those ill with St. Anthony's fire (holy fire, ergot). The Antonites spread rapidly and were transformed in …

Angela of Foligno

(166 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (1248/1249, Foligno – Jan 4, 1309, Foligno). Influenced by the Franciscans at an early age, as a wife and mother Angela experienced a conversion to a life of asceticism and charity during a pilgrimage to Assisi in 1285. In 1291, after her immediate family had died, she joined the Franciscan Third Order. She lived with a female companion; a Franciscan who was related to her served as her confessor. At times a loose circle of disciples (including Ubertino of Casale) gathered about the magistra theologorum. Her confessor translated her ve…

Recluses/Hermits

(442 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Recluses or hermits are men and women who do penance by shutting themselves (or having themselves shut) into a cell, either for a specific period (usually at the beginning of their lives as ascetics) or for the rest of their lives. This extreme form of asceticism surfaced in the Early Church in all regions of the East where there were monastic settlements (e.g. in Egypt, John of Lycopolis; esp. common in Syria) and came to the West in the 6th century, but it reached its climax in …
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