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Foscarini, Paolo Antonio


Philosopher and theologian; b. Montalto Uffugo (Calabria, Italy), c. 1565; d. there, June 10, 1616. He entered the Carmelite Order and distinguished himself as a preacher, mathematician, and professor in philosophy and theology at Messina and Naples. In 1607 he was nominated vicar-provincial and in 1608 elected provincial of Carmelite Province of Calabria. His writings were: Ordinationes et exercitia quotidiana (Cosenza 1611), Institutionum omnis generis doctrinarum tomis VII comprehensarum syntaxis (Cosenza 1613), which can be considered a course in methodology; and Trattato della divinatione naturale cosmologica (Naples 1615), part of an unpublished Institutiones. Foscarini however became famous by his Lettera sopra l'opinione de' Pittagorici, e del Copernico della mobilitá della terra, e stabilitá del sole, e del nuovo Pittagorico sistema del mondo, al reverendiss. P.M. Sebastiano Fantone, Generale dell'Ordine Carmelitano (Naples 1615). In this letter he follows Copernicus's theory as proposed by Galileo, defending it as true and not in contradiction with Holy Scripture. His letter was put on the Index, March 3, 1616.

Bibliography: a. de s. paul, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant (Paris 190350) 12.1:5355. a. franco, "Paulus Antonius Foscarini," Analecta Ordinis Carmelitarum Discalceatorum 2 (1911) 461468; 493504; 524527. c. nardi, Notizie di Montalto in Calabria (Rome 1954) 257302, discusses the process against Foscarini. n. picard, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 4:225226.

[h. spikker]

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