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Thomas of Buckingham

THOMAS OF BUCKINGHAM

English theologian, chancellor of Exeter cathedral;fl. mid-14th century. Originally from the Diocese of Lincoln, he was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1324, being a doctor of theology by 1346. He became chancellor of Exeter cathedral in 1346, canon and prebendary there in 1347. He is remembered chiefly for his Commentary on the Sentences (Paris 1505) and his Quaestiones (still in manuscript). Basically, he opposed the predestinarian tendencies that were in evidence in Oxford in the 1350s. His Quaestiones contain a mild reproof of a "reverend doctor" (richard fitzralph?) who "publicly says many things that are not in harmony with the sayings of saints and have not been commonly heard in schools" (Oxford, New College, Manuscript 134, folio 395v). The tenor of his doctrine may be extracted from the Quaestiones, where he attempts to show that a middle, Catholic way can be found between the errors of Pelagius (see pelagius and pelagianism), cicero, and duns scotus, "and that the eternal predestination, preordination, prevolition and concourse of God is consistent with the freewill and merit of the creature" (Quaestiones, folio 324r).

Bibliography: w. a. pantin, The English Church in the 14th Century (Cambridge, England 1955). m. d. chenu, "Les Quaestiones de T. de Buckingham," Studia mediaevalia in honorem R. J. Martin, O. P. (Bruges 1948) 229241. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the Scholars of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 1:298299. j. a. robson, Wyclif and the Oxford Schools (Cambridge, England 1961) 3269.

[v. mudroch]

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