Dominican philosopher and theologian; b. Popoli (Abruzzi), 1838; d. Rome, 1922. He taught theology in the spirit of St. Thomas Aquinas at Flavigny (1870), Louvain (1874), and Rome (1885). His lectures were a curious mixture of Aristotelian Thomism and Greco-Christian mysticism. His critical examination of ontologism as taught by N. malebranche and V. gioberti, Examen philosophicotheologicum de ontologismo (Louvain 1874), clearly asserts the teaching of St. Thomas on the origin of ideas, the nature of knowledge, and the natural knowledge of God. His Elementa philosophiae Christianae (3 v. Paris and Louvain 1875–79) follows Aquinas for the most part, but deviates somewhat on the real distinction between essence and existence in creatures and on the use of Anselm's ontological argument to demonstrate the existence of God. He wrote also a critical study of I. Kant's doctrine of pure reason: La critica della ragion pura secondo Kant (Rome 1894). In 1897 he resigned the chair of theology at the College of St. Thomas in Rome to become master of the sacred palace. In 1905 he wrote a short dogmatic explanation of the cult of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, which was edited by E. hugon (Paris 1926). Lepidi is remembered as a prominent contributor to the neoscholastic movement for his work in reorganizing the course of theological studies for the Dominicans, especially in the French province.
Bibliography: g. sestili, Il p. Alberto Lepidi e la su filosofia (Turin 1930). Enciclopedia filosofica (Venice-Rome 1957) 2:1886. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (Innsbruck 1903–13) 5.1:1260.
[f. j. roensch]