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Lamy, Bernard

LAMY, BERNARD

Oratorian philosopher and theologian; b. Le Mans, France, June 1640; d. Rouen, Jan. 29, 1715. He entered the order Oct. 17, 1657, and was ordained in 1667. Appointed to teach philosophy at the University of Angers (167375), he distinguished himself by his adherence to cartesianism and his attacks on aristotelianism, the only philosophy authorized by the Sorbonne and Louis XIV. He tried to explain the transubstantiation by the Cartesian theory of extension, and he questioned the divine origin of the royalty. As a result he was forbidden to teach and was exiled near Grenoble. But after eight months he was sent to teach at the seminary in Grenoble, where he wrote most of his works. In 1686 he began teaching at the seminary of Saint-Magloire in Paris. But a great controversy arose over publication of his Harmonia, sive concordia quatuor evangelistarum (1689), in which he worked out a new chronology of the life of Christ, asserting that He could not have celebrated the Passover on the day before His death; and he was sent to Rouen. He wrote also on rhetoric, L'Art de parler (1675), which was translated into English, and Réflexions sur l'art poétique (1678), and on arithmetic, geometry, mechanics, and optics. He wrote studies on the New Testament and several treatises on Christian education. His masterpiece is Démonstration de la vérité et de la sainteté de la morale chrétienne. He was a disciple of N. malebranche and helped to develop his philosophy in France.

Bibliography: f. girbal, Bernard Lamy de l'Oratoire (Paris 1964). j. carreyre, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 190350) 8.2:255052. j. f. driscoll, The Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. c. g. herbermann (New York 190714) 8: 771772. f. gibral and p. clair, Entretiens sur les sciences (Paris 1966), critical edition.

[f. girbal]

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