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Hocedez, Edgar


Theologian; b. Ghent, Belgium, July 1, 1877; d. Fayt-lez-Manage, Sept. 5, 1948. Entering the Society of Jesus in 1895, he combined a profound religious life with an eagerness for scientific work and a passionate interest in the history of ideas. At first, his superiors planned the career of a Bollandist for him and had him spend one year under the direction of H. Delehaye and P. Peeters, publishing articles of hagiography in the Analecta Bollandiana. He showed so marked an ability in theology, however, that his superiors assigned him to teach the subject. He taught successively at Kurseong, Bengal (190812); Louvain (191214); and Hastings, England. Returning to Louvain in 1919, he taught fundamental theology. Hocedez enriched his classes with his knowledge of medieval scholasticism, especially the work of St. Thomas, and his acquaintance with modern apologetic thought. His private study on the history of medieval philosophy and theology yielded such works as Richard de Middleton (Louvain 1925) and Aegidii Romani Theoremata de Esse et Essentia (Louvain 1930). He also published many magazine articles and was editor of the Nouvelle Revue Théologique from 1920 until 1926. From 1928 on, he was in charge of theology courses preparatory to the doctorate at the Gregorian University. Two or three years before World War II he conceived the project that was the culmination of his scientific work, the Histoire de la théologie au XIX e siècle, 3 volumes (Brussels 194952). The war forced him to leave Rome hurriedly in 1940; he completed his masterwork in Belgium. He was a man of constant religious fervor, with remarkable zeal for work, and with a cordial and delicate charity. All these were expressed in his stimulating book provoked by the war, L'Évangile de la souffrance (Tournai 1946).

Bibliography: j. levie, Nouvelle revue théologique 70 (1948) 786793. c. martin, Catholicisme 5:817.

[j. levie]

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