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By Boyd Taylor Coolman

Writer of the 1st actual summa of theology, William of Auxerre (d. 1231), early magister on the collage of Paris, is taken into account a seminal determine in early thirteenth-century scholasticism. From the doubtful weather of the past due 12th century, William’s Summa Aurea emerges with striking originality and scope. students have lengthy famous his contribution to the evolution of scholastic suggestion and his impression on later figures, comparable to Bonaventure and Aquinas. but, formerly, William has been principally unstudied, his theological fulfillment and pervasive impact hence final shrouded. For William, the top of human lifestyles is an experiential apprehension of God. To catch the fullness of this stumble upon, he employs the traditional doctrine of the soul’s non secular senses. not just will the blessed see divine attractiveness, they're going to additionally listen its symphony, scent its smell, style its sweetness, and contact its suavity. A impressive function of William’s theology, even though, is that he integrates this religious aesthetic inside a scholastic view of theology as a technological know-how, concerning conceptual rigor and highbrow cognition. wisdom of God proceeds from basic confirmation of creedal doctrine, via deeper knowing, and culminates in satisfying non secular sensation. the result's "wisdom," connoting either figuring out and savoring, and hence evoking this "tasted knowledge," which unites scholastic hypothesis and religious adventure. This ebook, the 1st English-language monograph of William of Auxerre, strains the motif of the religious senses via his Summa Aurea, utilizing it as an illuminating and unifying lens during which to understand his theology. Given William's significance and his forget, a lot commends this research to students of medieval theology, philosophy, and spirituality. Bridging a pivotal section in medieval theology, William accommodates yes twelfth-century monastic sensibilities, whereas while grappling with the Aristotelian philosophy quickly gaining forex. This examine additionally highlights William's initiation of scholastic use of the doctrine of the non secular senses and, eventually, it units the degree for a fuller appreciation of William's wide-ranging effect on later scholastic luminaries.

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Extra info for Knowing God by Experience: The Spiritual Senses and the Knowledge of God in the Theology of William of Auxerre

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F. . Cf. De doctrina Christiana I. . IV. . : ,f. ”31 William thus distinguishes between the desire for physically delectable things and the experience of possessing and enjoying them. In the physical context, delight occurs only in the act of sense perception, not in the desire for what is perceived. ”32 In short, charity per se does not possess delight. In this regard, William also emphasizes the incompleteness and uncertainty of desire. ”33 Quoting Augustine—“love is a certain sickness”—William further observes that unrequited love is often associated with misery and madness.

16 A particular structure in the relationship between knowledge and love thus begins to emerge. Cognitio is primary; it is that in which (in qua) there is fruition or delight, properly speaking. Dilectio, in some sense, follows from it, as that by which (a qua) delight is augmented; yet dilectio can also be seen as a cause of delight in as much as it provides the impetus, as it seeks, hungers, and desires the fruition that comes from cognitio. As William puts it: “those who eat through vision, will hunger through charity.

Unde proprie loquendo in coniunctione ymaginis ad illud cuius est ymago est fruitio. Sed verum est quod caritas movet ad illam coniunctionem, et facit illam et tenet illam in esse. l. Concedimus enim quod caritas dulcedinem et delectationem habet; sed non ex se, set ex adiunctio, scilicet ex cognitione. William employs the distinction between formal and efficient causality in order to harmonize his own teaching with Augustine’s well-known definition of fruition from De doctrina Christiana. ” . William’s language here is noteworthy.

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