William de la Mare

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Franciscan theologian and biblical scholar; b. England (place and date unknown); d. c. 1290. "He was certainly an Englishman, but until more is known of him, it is not safe to claim him as an Oxonian" [ A. G. Little, Archivum Franciscanum historicum 19 (1926) 865]. De La Mare studied at Paris and became master of theology in 1274 or 1275. A fervent follower of St. bonaventure, he commented on his master's commentary on the Sentences. To his teaching period belong his Quaestiones disputatae, and probably one Quodlibet (incomplete), that show the trend of his thought and foreshadow the conflict between Aristotelian psychology and the old school. His discourse is generally calm and reserved, yet a certain impatience and aggressiveness are noticeable in the crucial points of controversy.

On his return to England he preached at Lincoln, and, to prevent the influence of thomism among members of his order, wrote Correctorium Fratris Thomae, (1278) which gave rise to a number of Dominican replies, or correctoria. William meticulously examined, criticized, and censured 118 theses drawn from various writings of St. thomas aquinas that were, in his opinion, theologically unsound because they were in opposition to Holy Scripture and the Fathers, particularly St. augustine, and were included, or implied, in the lists of reproved errors. This Correctorium received a quasiofficial approval in the General Chapter of Strasbourg (1282) when the Franciscan Minister General Bonagratia forbade the study of Aquinas's Summa theologiae, allowing it only to the most learned lectors if accompanied by William's Declarationes. Later, before 1284, William revised his first edition, adding new theses, supplementing the evidence, and improving the whole work. The socalled Ur-Correctorium, discovered and edited by F. Pelster (Declarationes dde variis sententiis S. Thoma Aquinatis, Münster 1956), is not William's first edition of the Correctorium, as Pelster believed [Gregorianum 28 (1947) 220235], but rather a later anonymous compilation of 60 propositions extracted from William's revised recension [see D. A. Callus, Blackfriars 40 (1959) 3941].

William's contribution to biblical studies is of greater importance. His Correctio textus Bibliae (Correct. D) was regarded by H. Denifle as the most learned and scientific of the biblical Correctoria. Moreover, he compiled an aid to students, De Hebraeis et Graecis vocabulis glossarum Bibliae, instructing them in Hebrew and Greek grammar, and explaining Hebrew and Greek words mentioned in the biblical glosses. These two works mark him as one of the great 13th-century biblical scholars.

Bibliography: f. x. putallaz, "Measures Prises par l'Ordre de Freres Mineurs Guillame de la Mare et Jean Peckham," in Figures Franciscaines: De Bonaventure a Duns Scot (Paris 1997) 3750, bibliography. m. hoenen, "The Literary Reception of Thomas Aquinas' view on the Probability of the Eternity of the World in De La Mare's Correctorium (12789) and the Correctoria Corruporii," in Eternity of the World (Leiden 1990) 3968. l. j. elders, Die Metaphysik Des Thomas von Aquin in Historischer Perspektive (Salzburg 1985) 197213.

[d. a. callus]