Bovillus, Carolus (Charles de Bouelles)
BOVILLUS, CAROLUS (CHARLES DE BOUELLES)
Humanist, philosopher, and theologian; b. Saucourt near Amiens, c. 1470; d. Noyon, c. 1553. A disciple of Jacques lefÈvre d'Étaples, Bovillus traveled widely and came to know many of the intellectuals of his day. Some time after ordination, he became canon and professor of theology at Noyon. His interests were almost universal; he composed valuable works on geometry, physics, linguistics, philosophy, theology, and spirituality. His most important and most characteristic philosophical work is De sapiente [new ed. in E. Cassirer, Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance (Leipzig 1927)], a typical Renaissance document placing the concept of man at the center of reality. In his philosophico-theological system, Bovillus unites elements from the Aristotelian-traditional school, from pico della mirandola, and from nicholas of cusa. He is particularly indebted to Nicholas not only for his writings on philosophy and theology, but also for his works on spirituality. On the subject of prayer, Bovillus emphasized the necessity of internal dispositions [De indifferentia orationis (Paris 1529)] and the importance of the element of praise. He explained ecstasy as the overflow of the soul into God and the overflow of God into the soul. Though not immune from a certain rationalism, his synthesis, founded on the principles of Nicholas of Cusa, is Catholic in spirit.
Bibliography: f. stegmÜller, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg 1957–65) 2:627. a. vansteenberghe, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique (Paris 1932–) 1:1894–95.
[m. a. roche]