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Nicholas of Strassburg


Dominican theologian and mystic; fl. 1323 to 1329. A member of the German province, he was a contemporary of john of sterngassen, Gerard of Sterngassen, and Meister eckhart. He may have studied theology in Paris. Before 1323 he wrote a Summa philosophica (5 bks.; MS Vat. lat 3091), in which he synthesized the doctrine of albert the great and thomas aquinas. Between 1323 and 1329 he was lector at the priory in Cologne and vicar of the master general in reforming the German province. During the process against Eckhart in 1326 he defended his confrere and exonerated his doctrines. When the archbishop of Cologne renewed charges against Eckhart in 1327, Nicholas was also implicated. During the crisis he was excommunicated, possibly out of revenge, by a confrere, Hermann of Höchst; but the pope absolved him completely that same year. His bestknown work is De adventu Christi, written about 1323. Some scholars have called it a plagiarism because it is a compilation drawn from two treatises by john (quidort) of paris. Although he was a popular preacher, only 13 of his German sermons are extant; they reflect a practical approach and a sound theological piety.

Bibliography: m. grabmann, Mittelalterliches Geistesleben, 3 v. (Munich 192656) 1:392431. e. filthaut, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 7:998. h. denifle, "Der Plagiator Nicolaus von Strassburg," Archiv für Literaturund Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters, ed. h. denifle and f. ehrle (Freiburg 18851900) 4:312329. f. stegmÜller, Repertorium commentariorum in Sententias Petri Lombardi (Würzburg 1947) 1:272.

[j. f. hinnebusch]

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