Gibieuf, Guillaume

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Philosopher and theologian; b. Bourges c. end of the 16th century; d. Paris, June 6, 1650. Gibieuf joined the Oratory in 1612, and became a valuable assistant to its founder, Pierre de bÉrulle. Upon the death of Bérulle in 1629 Gibieuf became superior, then visitor of the Carmelite nuns. In 1641 after having refused the See of Nantes, he became superior of Saint-Magloire, the archdiocesan seminary of Paris, where he died nine years later. Gibieuf is important in the fields of spirituality, philosophy, and theology. His teaching and practice of the Christian life are very much of the Bérullian school. His Marian work, Vie et grandeurs de la très sainte Vierge Marie (2 v., Paris 1637), is noteworthy for its original insights, its elevated mysticism, and its theological exactitude. In philosophy and theology, his De libertate Dei et creaturae (Paris 1630) was a new attempt to solve the problem of free will and the divine concursus. Some philosophers, including É. Gilson, hold that this work possibly influenced the thinking of R. descartes, particularly in the Cartesian concept of the divine freedom; others believe that Gibieuf's influence is limited to the Neoplatonic and Augustinian elements found in Descartes. Gibieuf's work has also been called a precursor of C. O. jansen's Augustinus. However, even if it is true that his ideas on liberty are somewhat similar to those later held by Jansen, Gibieuf was himself no Jansenist: he adhered completely to the decisions of the Church, and he took steps to preserve his Carmelite subjects from Jansenist influence.

Bibliography: É. gilson, Liberté chez Descartes et la théologie (Paris 1913). a. ingold, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 6.2:134748. g. marafini, Agli albori del Giansenismo: Guillaume Gibieuf e il suo pensiero intorno alla libertà (Rome 1947), with good bibliog.

[m. a. roche]