ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

142. Odo of Tournai. -- In the second half of the eleventh century the cathedral school of Tournai was adorned by an eminent scholar who gave a new impetus to realism: ODO OF TOURNAI (fl. 1113). After teaching at the cathedral school he founded the Abbey of St. Martin in Tournai and subsequently became Bishop of Cambrai. Captivated by the study of Plato's Timaeus, he got into a controversy with an anti-realist master, RAIMBERT OF LILLE. An account of this polemic is to be found in the contemporary chronicles.{1}

Odo deserves special mention for his interesting applications of the classic realism to certain Catholic doctrines. In his principal work, De Peccato Originali, he applies the theory to: --

(a) The transmission of original sin. -- Men form but one substance, one specific reality. When Adam and Eve sinned the entire human substance, in all its ramifications, was vitiated by the fall, and all future generations, living an anticipated life in that vitiated substance, likewise contracted the stain.{2}

(b) The continuous creation of the souls of infants. -- What God produces at each birth is not a new substance, but a new property of the one single, already existing substance. At the surface, as it were, of the one abiding substance which constitutes the human species, ever-changing individual properties are incessantly appearing and disappearing: men differ from one another only by properties or accidents. From this attitude of Odo, we can easily understand his appreciation for the arguments of the traducianists.

{1} Cf. our Histoire de la philos. scol. dans les Pays-Bas, etc., p. 19.

{2} De Peccato Originali, Lib. ii., col. 1079, vol. clx., Patrol., Migne.

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