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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…

Oxford University

(900 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The city is first mentioned in 912. It was founded in the Anglo-Saxon period and walled by the Normans, and lies at the intersection of important routes. As early as the 12th century there were schools for the artes liberales , law and theology, from which the university developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Following a conflict with the townspeople, most masters and students left Oxford in 1209; some of them founded Cambridge University. When others returned to Oxford in 1214 the university…

Carmelites

(510 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Carmelite Order goes back to a community of occidental hermits on Mount Carmel, who were granted a rule by the patriarch of Jerusalem in 1210. It obligated them to a strict contemplative life. The spirituality of the community, led by a prior, was marked by anachoretic traditions, the example of the prophet Elijah, and veneration of the Virgin Mary. In 1240, the Carmelites fled before the growing threat of the Saracens into their European homelands, where …

Pico della Mirandola

(799 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] 1. Giovanni (Feb 24, 1463, Mirandola near Modena – Nov 17, 1494, Florence), son of the count of Mirandola. From 1477, he studied canon law, artes liberales, philosophy, and literature, especially in Bologna, Ferrara, Padua, Paris, and Perugia. In addition to Greek, he learned Hebrew and Arabic. He paid several visits to Florence, where he made friends with Lorenzo de’ Medici and his circle, especially with M. Ficino, Angelo Poliziano (1454–1494), and Girolamo Benivieni (1453–1542). …

Summa theologiae

(401 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] In the 12th century, a scholarly work briefly summarizing the totality of important knowledge in a particular field (Robert of Melun: singulorum brevis comprehensio) came to be called a Summa (later also Summula). Various disciplines were represented: Summa grammaticae/grammaticalis; Summa super Priscianum; Summa dictaminis/artis notariae; Summa logicae ( Summulae dialectices/logicales/logicae); Summa de modis significandi; Summa philosophiae; Summula philosophiae naturalis; Summa de anima, etc. Compendia of civil and canon law were also called Summae…

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…

Middle Ages

(4,250 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. The Term – II. Assessment and Study – III. Definition – IV. Characteristics – V. Early, High, and Late Middle Ages I. The Term French moyen âge has been used for a historical period since 1572, English Middle Age(s) since 1611 and Middle Time(s) since 1612. The German word Mittelalter had already been used by the Swiss historian Aegidius Tschudi ( mittel alters) in 1538, but it did not reappear in this sense (in contrast to “middle age”) until 1786; at the beginning of the 19th century, it finally prevailed over the more common 18th-century expressions mittlere Zeit(e…

Alexander of Hales

(279 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (c. 1185, Hales, England – Aug 21, 1245, Paris). After studying the arts and theology, Alexander taught in the Parisian theological faculty from the early 1220s, but maintained close relations with home. In 1229, he moved with the striking Parisian professors and students to Angers and brought forward their demands to the Roman Curia in 1230/1231. When …

Waldo, Peter

(178 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Valdez; died c. 1205/1218). The scanty tradition concerning Waldo permits only a few safe statements about him. A baptismal name ( Petrus) is first mentioned in the second half of the 14th century. A prosperous citizen of Lyon, around 1176/1177 he appears to have been converted to an apostolic life by the legend of Alexius or biblical texts translated into the vernacular. Whether he was attracted primarily by the ideal of poverty or a desire to preach is disputed. After making provision for his wife …

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 …

Mendicant Orders

(462 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The mendicant orders are religious communities in the West in which not only do the individual members live without personal possessions, but the community itself also forgoes ownership of property and regular income (Poverty). They sustain themselves on what they get from simple work, contributions, and begging. The mendicant orders originated in the early 13th century in conjunction with the religious poverty movement: the Dominicans, a clerical order of priests engaged in preac…

Eudo of Stella

(96 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Éon d'Étoile; died after 1148), possibly of noble birth, was a charismatic hermit and itinerant preacher of little education. After several years of preaching in Brittany and Gascony, where he attracted many followers, he was arraigned before the Council of Reims in 1148 and condemned to seclusion in the monastery of St. Denis in Paris. It is unclear what led him to assert that he was God's son, the future judge of the living and dead. Ulrich Köpf Bibliography J.C. Cassard, “Eon d'Étoile, ermite et hérésiarque breton,” MSHAB 57, 1980, 171–198.

Henry the Lion

(239 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (1129/1130 – Aug 6, 1195, Braunschweig), duke of Saxony and Bavaria, son of the Guelph Henry X the Proud, and Gertrud, daughter of Emperor Lothar III, cousin of Frederick Barbarossa. His second marriage was with Mathilde, daughter of King Henry II of England. Henry the Lion was a ruler with great self-confidence and a pronounced drive toward power and possessions. Conquests in the Slavic northeast, territorial expansion, and the founding of dioceses (Oldenburg/Lübeck, Ratzeburg, S…

Conventuals

(331 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] 1. Those who belong to a convent (Lat. conventus), i.e. all the full members of a religious community at a specific location. 2. In the context of a particular monastic way of life, and especially among the mendicant orders, “conventuals” refers to that group or tendency within the order which continues to follow the “old observance” (usually in a previously mitigated form) in the midst of internal disputes over the proper observance of the rule, and which accordingly …

Gottfried of Auxerre

(184 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Gottfried of Clairvaux; c. 1114/20, Auxerre – after 1188, Hautecombe). As a student of Abelard, attracted to the Cistercians in ¶ 1140 by the Paris sermon of Bernard of Clairvaux, De conversione. He was a monk in Clairvaux, Bernard's secretary until his death in 1153, abbot of Igny from 1156 and of Clairvaux from 1162 to 1165. After his forced resignation, he was a monk in Cîteaux, abbot of Fossanova near Rome beginning in 1170 and of Hautecombe (Savoie) from 1176 to 1188. Gottfried collected Bernard's letters and material for his Vita prima, which he initiated and book…

Ambrosians

(128 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Ambrosians are a religious community first mentioned in 1375 in a bull of Gregory XI; they are traced to three nobles from Milan. The monasteries they established lived independently according to the Augustinian rule (Augustine, Rule of) and followed the Ambrosian rite in worship; they were united by Eugene IV with other groups as the Congregatio fratrum S. Ambrosii ad nemus Mediolanensis in 1441. After varying fortunes – especially in the schism of monasteries which adopted the Roman rite, which associated in 1496 with the Apostolic Brothers as the Congregatio S. …

Bridge-building Brotherhoods

(73 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Fratres Pontis). Brotherhoods for building and maintaining bridges over rivers and the hospitals, chapels and cemeteries associated with them. Active from the 12th on into the 15th cen-turies, especially in southern France (Rhône valley); supposedly founded here by St. Bénézet (1184/ 85), to whom the bridge of Avignon is attributed. Ulrich Köpf Bibliography P. Péano, “Pontieri,” DIP VII, 1983, 85–92 idem, “Benedetto di Hermillon,” DIP I, 1974, 1359f.

Wendelin, Saint

(102 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (died c. 617 [?]) is said to have lived as a hermit in the hill country between the Hunsrück and the Palatine Forest in the time of Bishop Magnerich of Trier (died after 587). The 10th-century calendar of Stavelot Abbey is the earliest evidence of cultic veneration of his grave at the site later named Sankt Wendel; its late Gothic hall church (consecrated in 1360) was built to enshrine his relics. Wendelin has been venerated since the late Middle Ages as the patron saint of herdsmen and cattle. Ulrich Köpf Bibliography A. Selzer, St. Wendelin, 1936, 21962 (Ger.).

Theodore of Canterbury (Saint)/Theodore of Tarsus

(256 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (602, Tarsus – Sep 19, 690, Canterbury [?]). When Wighard, who had been appointed to succeed Archbishop Deusdedit of Canterbury, died in Rome in 667, Abbot Hadrian of Hiridanum Abbey near Naples suggested the learned Greek monk Theodore of Tarsus; Pope Vitalinus consecrated him as archbishop in 668. He was living at the time in a community of Cilician monks in the Roman abbey of St. Anastasius ad Aquas Salvias (later Tre Fontane) on the southern edge of the city. There is no relia…

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…
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