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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),…

Hervaeus Natalis

(187 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (after 1250 – Aug 7, 1323, Narbonne). A Dominican friar who joined the order in Morlaix (1276), Hervaeus Natalis lectured in Paris from 1302 to 1309, was appointed Dominican provincial in 1309, and superior general in 1318. He defended Thomas Aquinas against Henry of Ghent, J. Duns Scotus, Peter Aureol, Jakob of Metz, and Durandus ¶ de Sancto Porciano. However, he criticized the assumption of a real difference between being and essence as well as Aquinas's psychological doctrine of Trinity. Reinhold Rieger Bibliography Works include: Quodlibeta XI, Tractatus, 1513, …

Simon, Richard

(236 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (May 13, 1638, Dieppe – Apr 11, 1712, Dieppe), studied at the Oratorian College in Dieppe and in 1657 at the Jesuit College in Rouen. In 1670 he became a priest of the Oratory. His Histoire critique du Vieux Testament (1678; ET: A Critical History of the Old Testament, 1682) was confiscated at the instigation of J.B. Bossuet but was published in a new edition in Amsterdam and Rotterdam in 1680. In it he attempted to counter the attacks of B. Spinoza on the authority of the Old Testament with the principle of the historical grow…

Gilbert of Poitiers

(259 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (de la Porrée, de Poitiers; c. 1080, Poitiers, France – Sep 4, 1154, Poitiers) studied with Hilary of Poitiers, Bernard of Chartres and Anselm of Laon. After canonries in Poitiers and Chartres, he taught in Paris and became bishop of Poitiers in 1142. In his commentaries on Boethius, Gilbert distinguished between speculative (physics, ethics, logic) and practical sciences (e.g. medicine). He divided physics into natural science, mathematics and theology. In order to understand the…

Adelard of Bath

(165 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] This English translator and natural philosopher was a Benedict, who lived between 1070 and 1160 and was probably from Bath, to which he returned in 1130; he studied in Tours, probably taught in Laon, and undertook extensive journeys in the Mediterranean region, where he became acquainted with Arab science. His chief merit consists in his mediation of ancient and Arab natural philosophy of Antiquity to the West. He translated Euclid's Elements, the introduction to astrology by Abu Mashar, and the astronomical tables of al-…

Albert von Sachsen

(158 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (1316, Helmstedt – Aug 8, 1390, Halberstadt), natural philosopher and logician. Albert studied at the University of Paris, where he became Master of Arts in 1351 and Rector in 1353. In 1362, he entered the service of Urban V; in 1365, he became the first rector of the University of Vienna and in 1366 bishop of Halberstadt. While in Paris, he wrote a commentary on the physical and logical works of Aristotle and a compendium of logic, Perutilis Logica, influenced by William of Occam, as well as the Sophismata. In natural philosophy and logic, his …

Anselm of Laon

(169 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1050 – Jul 15, 1117, Laon) was a student of Anselm of Canterbury in Bec, then canon and dean in Laon. From c. 1080, he and his brother Radulph led the cathedral school of Laon, which also included William of Champeaux. Under Anselm's leadership, the Glossa ordinaria, as they were later called, originated on the whole Bible based on statements by the Fathers and more recent theologians. The glosses on the Psalms, John and the letters of Paul…

Ailly, Pierre d'

(234 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (1351, Compiègne - Aug 9, 1420, Avignon) studied in Paris, took the M.A. in 1368 and the Mag. theol. in 1381; in 1375, he became canon in Soissons, in 1381 in Noyon, later also in Meaux, Amiens, Cambrai, Compiègne, Rouen and Paris; he was rector of the Collège de Navarre from 1384 to 1389 and became father-confessor to Charles VI in 1389. From…

Peckham, John

(291 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1230, Patcham, Sussex – Dec 8, 1292, Mortlake, Surrey). After joining the Franciscans in 1250, Peckham studied in Paris and Oxford. From 1269 to 1271 he taught as magister regens in Paris, lecturing on the Sentences of Peter Lombard; from 1272 to 1275 he taught at Oxford, where he introduced the disputatio de quolibet (Disputation: II). He defended the Franciscan ideal of poverty (IV) against the Dominican R. Kilwardby. In 1275 he was made provincial of the Franciscan order in England; in 1276 he attended the general chapter in P…

Ratramnus

(172 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (died c. 870), monk at Corbie Abbey. He intervened in the first Eucharistic controversy with his writing De corpore et sanguine Domini (843), directed against Paschasius Radbertus; using dialectical method he opposed a sensory understanding of the Lord’s Supper, showing that the sacrament was always hidden as a mystery beneath a figura, and rejecting identification of the historical with the sacramental body of Christ. In this he influenced Berengar of Tours. In the books De praedestinatione (849/850), also commissioned by Charles the Bald, he opposed Hi…

Peter of Bruis

(181 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (died c. 1133, abbey of St. Gilles-les-Boucheries) was initially a priest in the French Alps but was removed from office in 1119. As an itinerant preacher in southern France, he criticized the church, rejected infant baptism, rebaptized adults, denied the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and rejected the mass, along with veneration of the cross and building churches. He acknowledged the authority of the Gospels alone, not other biblical books or the church fathers. During…

Durandus de Sancto Porciano

(314 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1275, St. Pourçain-sur-Sioule – Sep 10, 1334, Meaux), Dominican, possibly a student of James of Metz and Hervaeus Natalis c. 1300. In 1307/08 he lectured on the Sentences at St. Jacques, Paris; in 1312 M.Theol. in Paris; in 1313 lector sacri palatii in Avignon; in 1317 bishop of Limoux; in 1318 bishop of Le-Puy-en-Velay; in 1326 bishop of Meaux. His Commentary on the Sentences of 1308 called forth vehement criticism for its anti-Thomist tendencies (condemned several times by his order, esp. i…

Arnold of Brescia

(312 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1100, Brescia – 1155, Rome). Arnold, who may have been a pupil of Abelard in Paris 1115–1120, was an Augustinian Canon and possibly provost of the monastery of San Pietro a Ripa in Brescia. There, in contact with Cathari and Waldensians, he supported the reform program of the Patarines, opposing …

Trutvetter, Jodocus

(190 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (born in Eisenach – May 9, 1519, Erfurt). As an M.A. (1484) Trutvetter was Luther’s teacher in Erfurt from 1501 to 1505, before Luther began his theological studies. He was a canon of Sankt Severin in Erfurt. In 1501 he became rector of the University of Erfurt, where he received is doctorate in theology in 1504. In 1507 he became a professor in Wittenberg and an archdeacon at the Allerheiligenstift. He served as rector of the University of Wittenberg in 1507/1508 and as dean of t…

Hugh of St. Victor

(424 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (d. Feb 11, 1141, Paris). Possibly born in Saxony, Hugh received his early education from the Augustinians at Halberstadt, but soon went to Paris to attend the school of St. Victor, whose most influential teacher he was to become. Before 1125 he wrote his Didascalion de studio legendi, a normative but also historically based theory of the sciences, of which he distinguishes four types: theoretical, practical, mechanical, and logical. Following Boethius, he divides the theoretical sciences into theology, mathematics, and physic…

Leuven, University

(362 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] The University of Leuven (Lovanium, Louvain), established by a bull of Martin V dated Dec 9, 1425, was opened on 7 Sep. 1426 by Duke John IV; the theological faculty was set up by Eugenius IV on Mar 3, 1432. The faculty of arts was organized in 1435 as four nationes (Brabant, Gaul, Flanders, Holland). In 1428 there was conflict between the university and the town over exemption from taxes. The university was dominated by the via antiqua (Universals controversy in the Middle Ages). In 1446 there was a dispute between Henry of Zomeren and Peter of Rivo over …

Peter of Spain

(149 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (or Peter of Portugal; 13th cent.). Long identified with Pope John XXI, the author of the widely disseminated Summulae logicales (c. 1240) is now recognized as a different person. His treatise on dialectics expanded the logica vetus, based on Porphyry together with Aristotle’s work on categories and his De interpretatione, and the logica nova, which included Aristotle’s Analytica and Elenchi sophistici together with the topics and syllogistics of Boethius, by adding the logica modernorum, the terministic logic that discusses the properties of terms, es…

Alain of Lille

(139 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] Alanus ab Insulis (1116/1130 near Lille– 1202/1203 as a Cistercian). Alain probably studied in Paris and Chartres around 1140/50 with Gilbert of Poitiers, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Thierry of Chartres. He then taught liberal arts and theology in Paris and Montpellier. On the one hand, he wrote poetical-philosophical pieces such as De planctu naturae and Anticlaudianus de Antirufino portraying his philosophy of nature and ethical views in allegorical form. On the other, his Regulae Theologicae or Regulae caelestis iuris initiated a new type of theology based…

William of Auvergne

(238 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1180, Aurillac – Mar 30, 1249, Paris). After receiving his master’s in theology and becoming a canon in Paris in 1225, William was ordained to the priesthood and became bishop of Paris in 1228. In 1229 he created a university chair for Roland of Cremona, the first Dominican to come to Paris; when Alexander of Hales joined the Franciscans in 1236, he occupied his first chair at the same university. In his own theology, William stood in the Augustinian tradition and criticized the growing favor of Aristotelianism, mediated through Arab scholars. His most important work, Ma…

Robert of Melun

(180 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1100 – Feb 2, 1167, Hereford), pupil of Abelard and Hugh of St. Victor in Paris; 1137, M.A. in Paris. Robert’s pupils included Thomas Becket and John of Salisbury. Robert was a theologian in Melun; he was an opponent of Gilbert of Poitiers and Peter Lombard. In 1160 he became arch-¶ deacon of Oxford and in 1163 bishop of Hereford. His magnum opus, the Sententiae, deals in its first book with the salvific events of the Old Testament, with the doctrine of God and the Trinity, and anthropology. Its second book deals with the salvific events of…

Lorichius, Jodocus

(185 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Lurkäs; 1540, Trarbach/Mosel – Sep 29, 1612, Freiburg im Breisgau), began his studies in Freiburg in 1562 and received his master's degree in 1566. From 1568, he studied theology, earned his doctorate in 1574, and became professor in 1575. Lorichius participated in the revision of the statutes of the faculty of theology and of the university of Freiburg (1578/1586, 1581/1583). He was dean of the faculty of theology and rector of the university several times. His lectures, Lectiones de casibus conscientiae (1595–1598), and his principal work, Thesaurus novus utrius…

Monte Cassino

(423 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] The abbey of Monte Cassino was founded in 539 by Benedict of Nursia in the area of the Roman Casinum. After its destruction by the ¶ Lombards in 577, its monks fled to Rome. In 718, Monte Cassino was refounded by Abbot Petronax from Brescia. In 744, the duke of Benevento, Gisulf II, donated land to the abbey, which was later extended. In 787, Charlemagne confirmed the abbey's possession. By papal privileges, Monte Cassino was made exempt from episcopal influence (Exemption). Abbot Girulf…

Stephen Langton

(216 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (1155, 1165, Langton, Lincolnshire – Jul 9, 1228, Slindon, Sussex), studied in Paris c. 1170, 1180; he may have been a canon at Notre Dame. In 1206 he became a cardinal priest in Rome and was elected archbishop of Canterbury in 1207 despite the objections of King John Lackland. He remained in exile in Pontigny, near Auxerre, until 1213. In England he mediated between the king and the barons (Magna Carta). He was suspended from office by Innocent III. He took part in the fourth Lat…

Latomus, Jacobus

(198 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Jacques Masson; around 1475, Cambron, Belgium – May 29, 1544, Leuven), studied the artes liberales in Paris and earned his master's after 1500 in Leuven. Awarded the Dr. theol. in 1519, he became rector of the University of Leuven in 1537. Latomus participated as a theological adviser in the ¶ proceedings of the Inquisition against Jacobus Praepositus and W. Tyndale. In his De trium linguarum et studii theologici ratione dialogus (1518), he attacked the philological method of Erasmus of Rotterdam and opposed it with the ecclesial tradition. In 152…

Dietrich of Freiberg

(327 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1240 – c. 1318/1320) studied in German Dominican colleges and in Paris from 1272 to 1274. In 1280, he became a lecturer in Trier, from 1293 to 1296 the provincial prior of the order's German province, and from 1294 to 1296 its vicar general. In 1297, he became magister of theology in Paris. In 1310, he temporarily governed the German sub-province of Teutonia. Dietrich primarily concerned himself with epistemology and the theory of the intellect, but also…

Human Beings

(18,165 words)

Author(s): Gregersen, Niels H. | Grünschloß, Andreas | Figal, Günter | Janowski, Bernd | Lichtenberger, Hermann | Et al.
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences and Psychology – II. Religious Studies – III. Philosophy – IV. Old Testament – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Dogmatics and Ethics – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Natural Sciences and Psychology 1. Evolution From the perspective of the natural sciences, the theory of evolution offers the most comprehensive framework for understanding human beings. It views the human species as a late product of a biogenetic process that began with the origin of life (VI) on earth some 3.8 billion …

Abelard, Peter

(922 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Abailardus, Baiolardus; “Peripateticus Palatinus”) was born in 1079 in Le Pallet near Nantes, and died on Apr 21, 1142 in St-Marcel near Chalon-sur-Saône. In order to devote himself to scholarship, he renounced his rights as firstborn in his equestrian family. From 1095 to 1102, he studied logic under Roscelin of Compiègne and under …
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