John of Sterngassen

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Dominican theologian and mystic; d. Cologne, after 1327. Often said to have been an immediate disciple of St. thomas aquinas, he was a contemporary of Meister eckhart and a brother of Gerard, author of the popular Pratum animarum. As master in theology he taught in the priories at Strassburg and notably at Cologne, where he lived from 1310 onward. Some sermons and sayings survive in German. His principal work, a commentary on the Sentences, was discovered by M. grabmann. This work clearly shows him to be an avowed Thomist. He frequently refers to Aquinas as doctor noster. Like his brother and nicholas of strassburg, he did not subscribe to the Neoplatonic tendencies of many of his German confreres, but followed closely the Aristotelianism of St. Thomas. Only on the question of the real distinction between essence and existence in creatures did he depart from authentic Thomistic teaching, preferring the intentional distinction proposed by henry of ghent.

Bibliography: j. quÉtif and j. Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum, 5 v. (Paris 171923) 1.1:700. c. testore, Enciclopedia filosofica, 4 v. (Venice-Rome 1957) 2:769770. m. grabmann, Mittelalterliches Geistesleben, 3 v. (Munich 192556) 1:392400. f. stegmÜller, Repertorium commentariorum in Sententias Petri Lombardi, 2 v. (Würzburg 1947) 1:244245.

[j. j. przezdziecki]