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Title: Franciscan soteriology at the University of Paris to 1300
Author: Beckmann, Matthew Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 3965
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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This work charts the evolution of soteriology among Franciscan friars working at the University of Paris up to 1300. It examines in turn each of their extant soteriological works from this period to demonstrate the development of a distinct and uniquely Franciscan approach to soteriology. This study considers the written forms in which these Franciscan theological opinions were expressed, the scholastic genres of commentaries upon the Book of Sentences along with quaestiones disputatae, quodlibets and summae. It situates those soteriological innovations and their genres of expression in their historical context, the developing engagement of the Franciscans with the University of Paris and the tensions that came with this, especially the secular-mendicant controversy of the 1220s to 1250s and the Aristotelian conflict with Stephen Tempier in the 1270s. These three elements, Franciscan theological ideas, the literary forms in which they were articulated and the historical setting in which they were expressed, played upon each other to produce theology particular to the Franciscans. The friars discarded much of the soteriology inherited from Anselm of Bec and marginalised the significance of satisfaction and divine punishment for the fall. Figures like Bonaventure, Matthew of Aquasparta and Richard of Middleton gave greater emphasis to human fulfilment in a plan unrelated to the events of the fall. Despite obstacles to their theological work from both the university and the wider church, the Franciscans were not dissuaded from their ideas, adjusting the expression of those notions to ensure their acceptance. This interplay of ideas, genres and events provides evidence that supports a claim for the existence of a distinctive ‘Franciscan school’ of theology in operation in Paris in the thirteenth century. This school recast the doctrine of redemption as more than the appeasement of a God angered by disobedience and demanding a suitable sacrifice. The Franciscans advocated instead for salvation as God generously furthering and advancing the final culmination of human creation.
Supervisor: Flynn, William ; Brunner, Melanie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available