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Michael Scot

(135 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Scotus; before 1200, Scotland – c. 1235). Michael was present as a magister at the fourth Lateran Council in 1215. Around 1217 he was in Toledo translating works on natural history and philosophy from Arabic into Latin; he acquainted the West with Averroes. In 1220 he was teaching in Bologna. In 1225 he turned down an appointment as archbishop of Cashel in Ireland. He was active at the court of Frederick the Great as a translator and astrologer. The Latin reception of Aristotle, Avicenna, and Averroes was inspired by him. Besides his translations, he wrote the works: Liber i…

Dominicus Gundissalinus

(310 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1110 – after 1181). The archdeacon of Segovia was a member of the Toledo School of Translation and translated works by Alkindi (Kindī), Alfarabi (Fārābī), Avicebron (S. Ibn Gabirol), Avicenna, Alghazzali (Ġazzālī), and I. Israeli into Latin. His own writings are, for the most part, compilations of Arabic and Latin works. In his doctrine of the soul, De immortalitate animae, he addresses various proofs of immortality that are based on the inner essence of the soul, such as its activity and…

Peter Aureol

(303 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Petrus Aureoli; c. 1280, Gourdon – Jan 10, 1322, Avignon). After becoming a Franciscan around 1300, Peter studied in Paris, possibly with J. Duns Scotus; in 1312 he was teaching in Paris, in 1314 in Toulouse, and from 1316 to 1318 in Paris. In 1318 he received his master’s degree in theology in Paris. In 1320 he became the Franciscan provincial in Aquitaine, and in 1321 archbishop of Aix. In 1311 his Tractatus de paupertate he dealt with the issue of Franciscan poverty (IV, 2). In 1312 he wrote a metaphysical Tractatus de principiis. In 1314 he defended the Immaculate Co…

Peter of Poitiers (Saint)

(175 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1130, Poitiers – Sep 3, 1205, Paris) studied at Paris before 1159 and was a student of Peter Lombard. In 1169 he succeeded Peter Comestor in the chair of theology. In 1193 he succeeded Hilduin as chancellor of Notre Dame. In his magnum opus, Sententiarum libri quinque, published before 1170, he applied the dialectical method to theology. His sermons have also survived. His theological methodology was criticized severely in 1180 by Walter of St. Victor, who attacked him along with Abelard as one the “four labyrinths of France.” Reinhold Rieger Bibliography Eds.: Allego…

Paschasius Radbertus (Saint)

(212 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 790 – c. 859 Corbie), abbot of Corbie from 843/844 to 851 and had a part in the founding of Corvey Abbey; he was a vigorous opponent of Ratramnus. In De partu virginis (c. 845), he defended the virginity of Mary at the birth of Jesus (Virgin birth), but he had reservations concerning liturgical celebration of Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven (Mary, Assumption of). In De corpore et sanguine Domini he supported the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the identity of the eucharistic body of Christ with his historical body. His methodology…

Buridan, Jean

(173 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1300–1359/1360). As teacher of the artes liberales , Buridan became rector of the University of Paris (II) in 1328 and 1340. Despite his nominalism imbued with Occamism (William of Occam), he partially distanced himself from radical Occamist doctrines, such as the doctrine …

Raymond of Sabunde

(194 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Sebundus, Ramon Sibiuda; died Apr 29, 1436, Toulouse), taught philosophy, medicine, and theology in Toulouse, where he was also rector of the university. In his main work, Scientia libri creaturarum (1434/1435; in later eds., Theologia naturalis), he develops a natural theology based on experience, in the Franciscan tradition and oriented to Augustine and Anselm of Canterbury: since humanity is the center of creation, self-knowledge is the key to knowledge of God; theology is a practical science, necessary because…

William of Conches

(169 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1080, Conches – c. 1154). From 1120 on he taught at the cathedral school of Chartres. From 1144 to 1149 he was in the service of the duke of Normandy. He wrote commentaries on classical authors such as Boethius ( De consolatione philosophiae), Macrobius, Juvenal, Priscian, and Plato ( Timaeus). His primary interest was natural philosophy, which he explored cosmologically and anthropologically in his Philosophia mundi (c. 1124) and Dragmaticon philosophiae (1144–1149). He drew especially on Arabic medical sources. His copious use of classical and …

Lateran Councils

(2,427 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] The Lateran Councils, which were held in the papal palace in Rome, the Lateran, belong among the so-called “papal councils,” because they were convened and largely defined by the bishop of Rome. In the wake of the Counter-Reformation they were counted as the 9th-12th and the 18th ecumenical councils. First Lateran Council. Called in June 1122 by Pope Callistus II, this synod, which met Mar 27–28, 1123 and was attended only by Western representatives, set out to continue the Gregorian “reforms,” after the Concordat (Concordats) of …

Gerhoch of Reichersberg

(293 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (1092/93, Polling – Jun 27, 1169, Reichersberg). After his education in ¶ monastery schools in Polling, Moosburg, Freising and Hildesheim, Gerhoch was cathedral scholaster in Augsburg and joined the Augustinian Canons in Rottenbuch in 1124. There he unsuccessfully proposed the Vita communis for the secular clergy. From 1132 until his death, he was provost of the Canons Regular in Reichersberg. In efforts to reform the clergy, whose secularization (Simony) he criticized, he addressed letters and essays to Bernard of Clair…

Grosseteste, Robert

(291 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1170, Suffolk, England – Oct 8/9, 1253). After studying and teaching the artes liberales in Oxford, he studied theology in Paris and taught again at Oxford (c. 1225–1235) for the Franciscans. In 1229, Grosseteste became archdeacon in Leicester and in 1235 bishop of Lincoln. He participated in the Council in Lyon in 1245. He sought to execute reforms in the religious life of the clergy in his diocese. ¶ He translated works by John of Damascus, Dionysius Areopagita, Aristotle ( Eth. Nic. and Cael.) from the Greek. Grosseteste wrote commentaries on the Hexaemeron, the Te…

David of Dinant

(138 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (died 1206/1210) probably received the Master of Arts in Paris, and supposedly spent time at the court of Innocent III. He excerpted and translated Aristotle's works of natural philosophy from Greek, discovered his De problematibus, and developed, under neoplatonic influence, a pantheistic philosophy in which he identified God with the primary material and mind. He defended the worldview of Pythagoras ag…

Nicholas of Amiens

(108 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (1147 – after 1203). A student of Alain of Lille and Gilbert of Poitiers, Nicholas wrote the apologetic Ars fidei catholicae, in which, following the model of Euclid’s geometry and inspired by Aristotle’s Analytica posteriora, he tried to derive theological tenets from more fundamental nontheological statements having the character of definitions, postulates, and axioms, forgoing citation of authorities. His hope was to secure the position of theology as a science. The work follows the structure of Peter Lombard’s Sententiae. Reinhold Rieger Bibliography Ed.: Ar…

Richard of Mediavilla

(135 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Middleton; called doctor solidus; c. 1249 – c. 1308), gained his bachelor’s degree in theology between 1278 and 1284, and his master’s ¶ degree in 1284/85. Until 1286/1287 he was provincial of the Franciscans in France, and taught theology in Paris. In 1283 he participated in the condemnation of P.-R. Olivétan. From 1286 to 1297, Richard was tutorto the son of Charles II of Naples. Following Bonaventura, he criticized some of the teachings of Thomas Aquinas and the Averroists (Averroes). He held that t…

William of Auxerre

(191 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1150, Auxerre [?] – 1231, Rome), archdeacon of Beauvais. From 1229 to 1231, he was involved in the conflict between the University of Paris and the French king, acting on the bull Parens scientiarum (Apr 13, 1231) of Gregory IX confirming and expanding the rights of the university. The amendment of the Aristotelian natural sciences by a papal commission on which William sat had no effect. His Summa aurea (1215/1229), his major work, became the textbook of the early Dominican school of Paris. He considered theology a science as defined in Aristotle’s Analytica posterio…

Murner, Thomas

(327 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Dec 24, 1475, Oberehnheim [Obernai, Alsace] – 1537, Oberehnheim). After attending the Franciscan monastery school in Strasbourg, Murner entered the order in 1490, became a priest in 1494, and studied between 1495 and 1501 at the universities of Freiburg im Breisgau, Paris, Cologne, Rostock, Prague, Krakov, and Vienna. In Freiburg he became in 1506 doctor of theology, and in Basel in 1519 doctor of canon and civil law. He served his order ¶ as lector in Freiburg, Berne, Speyer, and Frankfurt am Main. In Vienna in 1505 he was crowned poeta laureatus. Following S. Brant h…

Roscelin (Roscellin) of Compiègne

(167 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1050 Compiègne – 1120/1125) studied at Soissons and Reims; among the places he taught was Loches, where Abelard studied with him. His application of dialectics and semantics to theology made his teaching regarding the Trinity as a unity of the divine essence in three persons appear as tritheism, although his aim was to avoid Sabellianism and Arianism. He was forced to recant at a synod in Soissons (1090/1093). His critics, including Abelard in his Theologia summi boni, did not understand his concerns but objected that his writings did not use concepts …

Universals Controversy in the Middle Ages

(2,466 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] I. The Philosophical Problem The universals controversy concerns the nature of the general and its relationship to the particular (General/Particular). The fundamental ontological assumption that the world consists of objects with attributes is reflected in the subject-predicate structure of declarative sentences, based on the logical relationship of singular to general terms, elements to sets, individuals to general concepts. Can this logical and ontological dualism, governed by the …

Berengar of Tours

(181 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1000, Tours – Jan 6, 1088, St. Côme near Tours) studied with Fulbert in Chartres, and became the head and chancellor of the school of Tours, where he taught the Trivium ( Artes liberales ). He advised the count of Anjou and was archdeacon of Angers. His eucharistic doctrine, over which he became embroiled in a fierce dispute with Lanfranc of Pavia, was condemned in 1050 at synods in Rome and Vercelli…

Nicholas of Autrecourt

(218 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (1298/1299, Autrécourt – Jun 17, 1369, Metz). After studying law in Orleans (?) and theology in Paris, in 1335/1336 he received his first degree in theology and in 1339/1340 his licentiate. In 1340 he was appointed dean of the cathedral chapter of Metz. In 1340 Benedict XII summoned him to Avignon to stand trial for false teaching; in 1346 he was finally condemned by Pope Clement VI and had to recant. In his writings and correspondence (e.g. with the Franciscan Bernard of Arezzo),…
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