John Klenkok

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Theologian, opponent of the Sachsenspiegel; b. Buken, Hanover; d. Avignon, June 17, 1374. John became doctor utriusque iuris, probably at Bologna, before he joined the augustinians in Herford where a document of 1346 calls him clericus OESA. He was sent to Oxford where he received a D.D. in 1359. In 1363 and 136768, he was provincial of the province of Saxony. John criticized certain articles of the Sachsenspiegel, the medieval civil law of eastern Germany, which he felt were opposed to human and divine law. The inquisitor Walter Kerlinger, OP, asked for his opinion in writing but misused the confidence by turning over the treatise, called the Decadicon, to the magistrate of Magdeburg instead of to the proper ecclesiastical authorities (1369). A great outcry followed, and John called on Bp. Albert of Halberstadt to appoint two Austin masters, Rudolf Block and Jordan of Saxony, to be his judges. Both decided against him. In 1370 Klenkok was a professor at Prague and an intimate friend of Bp. John of Neumarkt, chancellor of the empire. A year later he sent Gregory XI at Avignon a revision of his Decadicon, in which 21 articles of the Sachsenspiegel were held condemnable. Gregory responded in 1374 by denouncing 14 articles, which became known in German law as articoli reprobari. Klenkok was made papal penitentiary. As such he opposed john milÍČ, the Bohemian nationalist and foe of the mendicants. Both died at Avignon in June 1374. John wrote commentaries on the Apocalypse, the letters of St. John, and the Lombard, but only the Decadicon has been published.

Bibliography: h. bÜtow, "Zur Lebensgeschichte des Augustinermönches Johannes Klenkok, " Historische Vierteljahrschrift 29 (193435) 541575. d. trapp, "Augustinian Theology of the 14th Century, " Augustiniana 6 (1956) 223239; "Notes on John Klenkok, " Augustinianum 4 (1964) 358404. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 2:1057. a. zumkeller, "Manuskripte von Werken der Autoren des Augustiner-Eremitenordens in mitteleuropäischen Bibliotheken, " 521534. b. ocker, "Johannes Klenkok: A Friar's Life, c. 13101374, " Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 83, part 5: VII-116 (Philadelphia 1993).

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John Klenkok

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