Henry of Harclay

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English theologian and ecclesiastic; b. c. 1270; d. Avignon, June 25, 1317. Master of arts at Oxford by 1296, he was ordained for the Diocese of Carlisle in 1297 and before 1310 was a master in theology. From Dec. 11, 1312, until his death, he was chancellor of the University of Oxford and directly involved in the university's dispute with the Dominicans over graduation in theology; as proctor of the university, he went to the Roman Curia at Avignon in 1317 to obtain a settlement of the dispute, but died without having obtained it. His importance as a theologian is represented by a commentary on the Sentences (Stegmüller, Repertorium Commentariorum in Sententias Petri Lombardi 1:154) and by his Quaestiones ordinariae (Worcester, Cath. Lib. MS F. 3), some of which have been published. Strongly rejecting the physical determinism of pagan philosophers, he protested against those "who tried to make the heretic Aristotle a Catholic" (F. Pelster, 351). At the height of the controversy between Thomists and Scotists, he wished to remain an independent critic and skeptic. Nevertheless he inclined toward Duns Scotus, whose arguments, distinctions, and solutions he used freely. His commentary on the Sentences relied so heavily on Scotus's Lectura Cantabrigensis that passages were borrowed verbatim by alfredus gonteri, a disciple of Scotus.

Bibliography: f. pelster, "Heinrich von Harclay, Kanzler von Oxford, und seine Quästionen," Miscellanea Francesco Ehrle, 5 v. (Rome 1924) 1:307356. c. baliĆ, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 5:190; "Henricus de Harclay et Ioannes Duns Scotus," Mélanges offerts à Étienne Gilson à l'Académie française (Toronto 1959) 93121. a. maurer, "Henry of Harclay's Questions on Immortality," Mediaeval Studies 19 (1957) 79107. É. h. gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (New York 1955). a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 2:874875.

[c. baliĆ]