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Religion and Philosophy: Documentary Sources

814-1350: Religion and Philosophy: Documentary Sources

Peter Abelard, Dialogus inter Philosophum, Iudaeum, et Christianorum (Dialogue of a Philosopher with a Jew and a Christian, circa 1138–1142)—A most important attempt to set out the distinct positions of ancient pagan philosophy, Jewish thinking, and Christian theology.

Peter Abelard, Ethica sen Scito Teipsum (Ethics; or, Know Thyself, circa 1138–1142)—A great contribution to the discussion of moral action with its stress on the role of intention.

Peter Abelard, Historia Calamitatum (History of My Misfortunes, circa 1132–1133)—The author’s autobiography.

Peter Abelard, Logica Ingredientibus (The Greater Glosses on Logic, circa 1112–1130)—Commentaries on Porphyry’s Isagoge and Aristotle’s Categories and De interpretatione.

Adelard of Bath, De eodem et diverso (On the Same and the Different, circa 1150)—Work on metaphysics based on Neo-Platonism.

Adelard of Bath, Questiones naturales (Questions on Natural Philosophy, circa 1150)—Important work on topics in natural philosophy.

Albertus Magnus, Summa theologia (Comprehensive Theology, 1263–1274)—Comprehensive review of the issues in theology.

Albertus Magnus, Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus (Commentary on Dionysius on the Divine Names, circa 1250)—Commentaries on Pseudo-Dionysius that had an important influence on Renaissance thought.

Albertus Magnus, Super Ethica, Commentum et Questiones (Commentary and Questions on Aristotle’s Ethics, circa 1250–1252)—The author wrote “paraphrases” on all of Aristotle’s works.

Albertus Magnus, Super sententiarum (Commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences, circa 1246–1249)—The commentary was roughly similar to a modern doctoral dissertation; every medieval doctor of theology had to compose one.

Anslem of Canterbury, Proslogion (An Address of the Mind to God 1077–1078)—Meditative work on the knowledge of God. It is famous for its so-called onto-logical proof for God’s existence.

Thomas Aquinas, In decem libros Ethicorum Aristotelis ad Nicomachum expositio (Ten Ethical Books, 1265–1273)—Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachaen Ethics.

Thomas Aquinas, Summa de veritate catholicae fidei contra gentiles (Comprehensive Truth of the Catholic Faith against the Gentiles, 1261–1264)—A comprehensive discussion of many Greek, Roman, Islamic, and Jewish philosophical issues.

Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae (Comprehensive Theology, 1266–1273)—His major work and a significant theological synthesis.

Averroes, Commentarium Magnum in Aristotelis De Anima Libros (circa 1190)—An example of a major commentary on Aristotle. It became an essential tool for reading Aristotle in the Middle Ages.

Avicenna, Metaphysica, De Anima (The Healing, circa 1020–1027)—Perhaps the most important contribution to medieval metaphysics and philosophy.

Roger Bacon, Opus Maius (Major Work, circa 1267)—An encyclopedic work on the relation of language study and the sciences to theology.

Roger Bacon, Quaestiones (Questions on Aristotle, 1240s)—One of the early Latin studies on the texts of Aristotle.

Boethius of Dacia (Boethius or Boetius of Sweden), Opuscula: De Aetemit ate Mundi, De Summo Bono, De Somniis (Opuscula: On the Eternity of the World, On the Supreme Good, On Dreams, circa 1270–1274)—Together with his important works on the philosophy of language and on Aristotle, they are primary texts for our understanding of the Condemnations of 1277.

Bonaventure (Giovanni di Fidanza), Collationes in Hexaetneron sive Illuminationes Ecclesiae (Collations on the Six Days of Creation; or, Enlightenment of the Church, 1273)—Important lectures at the Franciscan House of Studies, Paris, during the crisis on Averroism.

Bonaventure (Giovanni di Fidanza), De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam (On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology, circa 1255–1257 or circa 1273)—An important work showing how the liberal arts and philosophy relate to theology.

John Duns Scotus, Opus Oxoniense (Oxford Commentary on the Sentences, circa 1300)—A skillful interpretation of Peter Lombard.

John Duns Scotus, Quastiones Quodlibetales (Quodlibetal Questions, 1306–1307)—A complex interpretation of Aristotle. His interpretation of the Metaphysics and the De anima are of great importance.

John Duns Scotus, Reportata Parisiensia (Parisian Commentary on the Sentences, circa 1302–1304)—A new set of interpretations of Peter Lombard’s Sentences.

Meister Eckhart, Opus Tripartitum (Work in Three Parts, 1311–1326)—A major theological work, containing more than one thousand theses that are explained and then proved.

Meister Eckhart, Quaestiones Parisiensis, 1–3 (Parisian Questions, 1302–1303)—Eckhart’s Latin lectures at the University of Paris.

Meister Eckhart, Sermones (Sermons, Latin and German, 1316–1327)—A collection of the German mystic’s sermons.

Meister Eckhart, Von Abgeschiedenheit (On Detachment, circa 1325)—An important work of spiritual instruction.

John Scottus Eriugena, Periphyseon (About Nature, circa 864–866)—This philosophical-theological synthesis unites Greek philosophical traditions coming from Pro-clus and Damascius through Pseudo-Dionysius, Gregory of Nyssa, and Maximus Confessor with the Latin tradition of Augustine and Boethius.

Robert Grosseteste, Commentarius in Posterium Analyticorum Libros (Commentary on [Aristotle’s] Posterior Analytics, circa 1214–1235)—The first Latin commentary on the logic of proof in Aristotle, one of the most significant contributions to medieval philosophy.

Robert Grosseteste, De Iride (On the Rainbow, circa 1214–1235)—An application of optics to natural phenomena.

Robert Grosseteste, De Luce (On Light, circa 1225–1241)—A description of the material world.

Robert Grosseteste, Hexaemeron (Commentary on Genesis, circa 1214–1235)—Complex interpretation of the first book of the Bible.

Moses Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon; acronym: Rambam), Dux neutrorum or Dalalat al-Ha’irin/Moreh Nevukhim (The Guide for the Perplexed, 1204)—This work is an introduction for students on how to read the scriptures philosophically; it is a study of the limits and powers of reason in dealing with the divine.

William of Ockham (Guillelmus de Ockham), Dialogus de Potestate Papae I-III (Dialogue on the Power of the Pope, volumes I-III, 1335–1346)—An important polemical work written at Munich against extreme papal claims to temporal authority.

William of Ockham (Guillelmus de Ockham), Scriptum in Librum Sententiarum Ordinatio (Commentary on the book of the Sentences, Ordinatio, circa 1319–1321)—A treatise on Peter Lombard’s work.

William of Ockham (Guillelmus de Ockham), Summa Logicae (Comprehensive Logic, circa 1322)—A major summary of the common medieval teaching on the nature of logic.

John Peckham, Perspectiva communis (The Common Account of Perspectiva [Optics], circa 1269–1279)—This work became a most important contribution to a philosophical study of the eye and vision.

John Peckham, Quodlibeta Quatuor (Four Quodlibetal [Open/Free for Discussion] Questions, circa 1270–1275)—An important example of the contribution of this major English Franciscan thinker to the debates in Paris.

Siger of Brabant, De Aeternitate Mundi (On the Eternity of the World, circa 1271–1272)—An important primary source for the debates at the University of Paris from circa 1265–1277.

Siger of Brabant, Quaestiones in Tertium De Anima (Questions on the Third Book of [Aristotle’s] On the Soul, 1269–1270)—Another primary source for the debates at the University of Paris from circa 1265–1277.

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