Thomas of Claxton

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Dominican theologian at Oxford in the early 15th century. On Feb. 26, 1404, at Oxford, he was a witness in a court action. He served on the university committee of 12 that in March of 1411 addressed a letter to the convocation of Canterbury in condemnation of 267 errors in the works of John wyclif. He was also a theologian at the Council of Constance, at least in 1414. Two works survive: a commentary on the Sentences (more exactly, a collection of questions according to the order of Peter Lombard) and a Quodlibet. Both works are in manuscript at the Florence National Library (manuscript Conv. B 6 340; see Quétif-Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum 1:730), while his own copy of the commentary on the Sentences is at Cambridge (Emden). Two important quodlibetal questions have been edited by Grabmann.

Thomas had a good grasp of Thomistic metaphysics. As is clear from the edited texts, he appreciates the importance of St. Thomas's positions on being. He views existence (esse ) as "the actuality of essence" and defends the real distinction between essence and existence in creatures in order to safeguard the doctrine of creation. He holds that essence and existence are not to be regarded as distinct things (see Grabmann, "Thomae de Claxton" 123), and defends the Thomistic doctrine of analogy.

Bibliography: m. grabmann, "Thomae de Claxton, O.P., (ca. 1400) Quaestiones de distinctione inter esse et essentiam reali atque de analogia entis," Acta Pontificae Academiae Romanae S. Thomae Aquinatis 8 (194142) 92153; Mittelalterliches Geistesleben, 3 v. (Munich 192556) 3:372373. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the Scholars of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 1:426. É. h. gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (New York 1955) 746.

[j. j. przezdziecki]