Philip the Chancellor

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Theologian and philosopher; b. Paris, between c. 1160 and 1185; d. Paris, Dec. 23, 1236. H. Meylan has shown that Philip is not the same as philip of grÈve, with whom he has been identified from the first edition of his Distinctiones super psalterium (ed. J. Bade, Paris 1523). Philip was a son of the archdeacon Philip of Paris. There is no record of his youth and education, but it is certain that he studied theology, and probably Canon Law, in Paris. He was first mentioned in a charter of 1211 as archdeacon of Noyon, an office he held until his death. In January 1217, however, he received from Honorius III the dispensation pro defectu natalium and permission to change to the Diocese of Paris. He is first mentioned as chancellor in the testament of Bp. Peter of Nemours (June 1218). The office of chancellor, although subordinate in the chapter, was important in Paris because of the statute of Innocent III (1215) giving to the chancellor limited jurisdiction over professors and students of the university.

The first half of Philip's tenure was disturbed by conflicts with the university. In 1219 he was summoned to the papal Curia for excommunicating masters and students, but was discharged in grace by Honorius III because his accusers did not appear. In the controversy over the appointment of william of auvergne as bishop of Paris (1228), Philip supported Philip of Nemours, who had been elected by the chapter. In the university strike of 1229 to 1231, he sided with the university and the pope against the bishop and the regent, Blanche of Castile. In a sermon in Orléans he exhorted masters and scholars who had retired there to return to Paris. He readily submitted to the Parens scientiarum of Gregory IX, April 13, 1231, that ended the university strike.

Philip was a prominent preacher, often charged with special commissions. At the famous assembly of the masters of theology at Paris in 1235, he defended the permission of the benefice cumulation, which was probably a cause of the Dominicans' enmity. He remained friendly with the Franciscans and was buried in their church. The Summa quaestionum theologicarum (Summa de bono ), Philip's chief work, dates from between 1230 and 1236 and probably was never finished. It is a systematic presentation of theology from the point of view of the good. Although the materials originate from the Augustinian tradition, most of the solutions it proposed were new, influenced by Aristotelian philosophy. He also wrote many sermons and approximately 20 theological Quaestiones.

Bibliography: É. gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (New York 1955). Chartularium universitatis Parisiensis, ed. h. denifle and e. chatelain (Paris 188997) v.1. h. meylan, Les Questions de Philippe le Chancelier (Paris 1927). p. glorieux, Répertoire des maîtres en théologie de Paris au XIII esiècle (Paris 193344) 1:282284. a. m. landgraf, Einführung in die Geschichte der theologischen Literatur der Frühscholastik (Regensburg 1948) 132133. v. doucet, "A travers le manuscrit 434 de Douai," Antonianium 27 (1952) 531580. j. b. schneyer, "Philipp der Kanzlerein hervorragender Prediger des Mittelalters," Münchener theologische Zeitschrift 8 (1957) 174179. n. wicki, "Philipp der Kanzler und die Pariser Bischofswahl von 12271228," Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und spekulative Theologie 5 (1958) 318326. j. b. schneyer, Die Sittenkritik in den Predigten Philipp des Kanzlers (Münster 1963).

[n. wicki]