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Ulric of Strassburg

ULRIC OF STRASSBURG

Also Ulrich Engelberti, Dominican philosopher and theologian; b. early 13th century; d. Paris, 1278?. He studied at Cologne between 1248 and 1252 under albert the great, with whom he had a close, filial relationship, as shown by his letters. At Strassburg he lectured for many years amid great literary activity. From 1272 to 1277 he was provincial of the German province. He was next sent to Paris to lecture on the Sentences and to obtain the degree of master, but it seems he died before achieving this.

Ulric's chief work is the Summa theologiae or Summa de summo bono, usually referred to as the Summa de bono. This is not devoted exclusively to the supreme good, but is a summary of theology and philosophy that dates from the same period as the Summa of thomas aquinas. While lacking the systematic unity of Aquinas's work, it shows progress over earlier summae in organization and plan. Projected in eight books, it was completed only to the fifth treatise of the sixth book. It has never been completely edited or printed; no manuscripts of the last two books exist, but there are indications they were written. The earlier books are largely a commentary on the De divinis nominibus and show Ulric's acquaintance with the principal Neoplatonic writings. They are of great interest to historians of thought and are especially noteworthy as a link between Albert and the later Rhineland mystics. The Summa de bono had great popularity in the 15th century.

Ulric also wrote commentaries on the Sentences and a book on meteors, but both are lost. Extant are a sermon in Old German and 25 letters, mostly of the period of his provincialate, and thus of value for Dominican history. A treatise on the soul is doubtfully ascribed to him, while a book on conscience is usually considered his.

Bibliography: É. h. gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages. p. glorieux, Répertoire des maîtres en théologie de Paris au XIII e siècle 1:148151. l. thomas (c. j. fagin), "Ulrich of Strasbourg: His Doctrine of the Divine Ideas," Modern Schoolman 30 (November 1952) 2132. c. putnam, "Ulrich of Strasbourg and the Aristotelian Causes," Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy 1 (1961) 139159.

[j. f. hinnebusch]

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