Richard Fishacre

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English Dominican theologian; b. Diocese of Exeter; d. Oxford, 1248. The first Dominican to study theology at the University of Oxford, he incepted under robert bacon, his master and intimate friend, before 1240, and continued to teach there until his death. He introduced a new method of teaching, separating theological questions from moral instruction, using the Sentences in his magisterial lectures (lectiones ordinariae ) and relegating moralitates to the Biblical course. This innovation displeased Bp. robert grosseteste [Epistolae, ed. H. R. Luard (London 1861) 346347], but innocent iv requested that Fishacre be encouraged, not hindered, from lecturing ordinarie on the Sentences. His unpublished commentary on the Sentences, the first to issue from Oxford, manifests considerable skill in theological, philosophical, scientific, and medical matters. Although he frequently quoted Aristotle and the "Aristotelians," he followed the current Augustinian tradition on knowledge, divine illumination, and the hylomorphic composition of spiritual substances. On plurality of forms and other difficult problems he did not commit himself, but rather attempted to reconcile Aristotle with Augustinianism. His principal sources were St. bernard of clairvaux, alexander of hales, hugh of saint-cher, and Grosseteste. His influence was great both at Oxford and at Paris, notably on simon hinton, robert kilwardby, richard rufus of cornwall, william of melitona, St. bonaventure, and indirectly on St. albert the great. He was a remarkable preacher. Besides several sermons, which have survived, he is credited by nicholas trevet with Postillae on the first 70 Psalms, "most beautiful, intermingled with sweetest moralities" (Trevet, Annales 230); Quodlibeta; two treatises De paenitentia; and De fide, spe et caritate.

Bibliography: d. a. callus, "Introduction of Aristotelian Learning to Oxford," Proceedings of the British Academy 29 (1943) 229281. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 (Oxford 195759) 2:685686. f. pelster, "Das Leben und die Schriften des Oxforder Dominikanerlehrers Richard Fishacre," Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 54 (1930) 518553. d. e. sharp, "The Philosophy of Richard Fishacre," The New Scholasticism 7 (1933) 281297. w. a. hinnebusch, The Early English Friars Preachers (Rome 1951) 364369. f. stegmÜller, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi (Madrid 194961) 5:726669; Repertorium commentariorum in Sententias Petri Lombardi (Würzburg 1947) 1:718.

[d. a. callus]

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Richard Fishacre

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