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

162. The Theologians Opposed to Dialectic. -- The pretensions of the extreme dialecticians (146) in placing logical and sophistical reasoning above the argument from authority, and the heresies that resulted from this method of dealing with theological questions, aroused the opposition of a party of reactionary theologians, who were more or less suspicious of all philosophy and would countenance no other method in theology than the literal study of the Sacred Scriptures. And this opposition movement was closely connected with an attempted reform of the religious life, with a return to the purer traditions of early monasticism. Evidences of this reform are to be found in the monasteries of the order of Cluny in France and in the Benedictine monasteries of Germany.

The leading figures in this movement belong to the eleventh century: St. Peter Damian in Italy, Manegold of Lautenbach and Otloh of St. Emmeram in Germany. Lanfranc calls for separate mention.

ST. PETER DAMIAN, a hermit monk of Ravenna, regarded dialetic as a superfluum, because the principle of contradiction, on which it is based, is inapplicable to theology. Nay more, it cannot produce certitude on any question, because the ground of certitude lies only in the revealed word in the Sacred Scriptures. This is the real sense of the celebrated formula so often misunderstood: philosophiam esse theologiae ancillam; or again: velut ancilla dominae quodam famulatus obsequio subvenire philosophia debet. {1}

MANEGOLD OF LAUTENBACH (second half of eleventh century) gives expression to similar views. The tendency of the Opusculum Manegoldi contra Wolfelum Coloniensem is to establish a contradiction between the teaching of the ancient philosophers and Catholic doctrine.

OTLOH OF ST. EMMERAM, of Regensburg (about 1010-1070), while not condemning profane science, i.e., the liberal arts and philosophy, in itself, forbids his monks to study it, inasmuch as they renounced the world to give themselves up to Divine science (res divinae).

162 (b). Lanfranc and the Beginnings of the Dialectic Method. -- After having travelled through France, from school to school, Lanfranc settled down in the abbey of Bec. Though he may be classified with the opponents of dialectic, the famous contradictor of Berengar deserves special treatment. The liberal arts and philosophy, he teaches, are not evil in themselves: it is the excessive and exclusive use of them in theology that is alone reprehensible: "non artem disputandi vituperat sed perversum disputantium usum"{2} Lanfranc's own works bear witness that he himself in his theological teaching had recourse, in a timid and tentative way, to philosophical reasoning.{3}

Thus appeared the new tendency which was developed by other theologians of this period such as William of Hirschau and St. Anselm, and which was to lead to the formation of a twofold theological method in the schools of Abelard and of St. Victor in the twelfth century (see below).

162 (c). Sources and Bibliography. -- The literature of the Predestination controversy was collected by Gilbert Mauguin in the year 1650 (2 vols. in 4to). Works of Lanfranc apud Migne, P.L., 550. The authorship of the Elucidarium sive Dialogus de summa totius christianae theologiae is doubtful.

ENDRES, Lanfranc's Verhältniss zur Dialektik (Der Katholik, 1905, pp. 215-31). Good. Corrects the erroneous view that Lanfranc was hostile to speculation. W. BURGER, Rhabanus Maurus, der Begründer d. theolog. Studien in Deutschland (ibid., pp. 51 and 122). VERNET, Bérenger de Tours (Dict. Cath. Theol., xii., p. 729). PICAVET, Les discussions sur la liberté au temps de Gottschalc, de Rhaban Maur, d'Hincmar et de J. Scot (Paris, 1876). GABRIEL BRUHNES, La foi chrétienne et la philosophie au temps de la renaissance carolingienne, 1903. A good monograph. ENDRES, Die Dialektiker und ihre Gegner im 11 Jahrh. (Philos. Jahrb., 1906). Good. Otloh's von St. Emmeram Verhältniss zu den freien Kuns ten (Philos. Jahrb., 1904, pp. 44, 72; and 1906, h. 1).

{1} Opusc., 36, quoted by ESPENBEROER, Die Philosophie des Petrus Lombardus und ihre Stellung im zwölften Jahrh., p. 36, n. 2.

{2} MIGNE, P.L., t. 150, col. 323.

{3} ENDRES, Die Dialektiker, etc., p. 33. 12

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