HISTORY OF DOGMATIC THEOLOGY
Catholic Encyclopedia 
AUTHOR: J. POHLE 

The imposing edifice of Catholic theology has been reared  not by 
individual nations and men, but rather by the  combined efforts of all 
nations and the theologians of  every century. Nothing could be more at 
variance with the  essential character of theology than an endeavour to 
set  upon it the stamp of nationalism: like the Catholic  Church 
itself, theology must ever be international. In  the history of 
dogmatic theology, as in the history of  the Church, three periods may 
be distinguished: 
 	(1) The patristic 
 	(2) The medieval 
 	(3) The modern 
I. 	THE PATRISTIC PERIOD (ABOUT AD 100-800)
The Great Fathers of the Church and the ecclesiastical  writers of the 
first 800 years rendered important  services by their positive 
demonstration and their  speculative treatment of dogmatic truth. It is 
the  Fathers who are honoured by the Church as her principal  
theologians, excelling as they did in purity of faith,  sanctity of 
life, and fullness of wisdom, virtues which  are not always to be found 
in those who are known simply  as ecclesiastical writers. Tertullian 
(b. about 160), who  died a Montanist, and Origen, (d. 254), who showed 
a  marked leaning towards Hellenism, strayed far from the  path of 
truth. But even some of the Fathers, e.g. St.  Cyprian (d. 258) and St. 
Gregory of Nyssa, went astray on  individual points; the former in 
regard to the baptism of  heretics, the latter in the matter of 
apocatastasis. It  was not so much in the catechetical schools of  
Alexandria, Antioch, and Edessa as in the struggle with  the great 
heresies of the age that patristic theology  developed. This serves to 
explain the character of the  patristic literature, which is 
apologetical and  polemical, parenetical and ascetic, with a wealth of  
exegetical wisdom on every page; for the roots of  theology are in the 
Bible, especially in the Gospels and  in the Epistles of St. Paul. 
Although it was not the  intention of the Fathers to give a methodical 
and  systematic treatise of theology, nevertheless, so  thoroughly did 
they handle the great dogmas from the  positive, speculative, and 
apologetic standpoint that  they laid the permanent foundations for the 
centuries to  follow. Quite justly does Möhler call attention to the  
fact that all modes of treatment may be found in the  writings of the 
Apostolic Fathers: the apologetic style  is represented by the letter 
of Diognetus and the letters  of St. Ignatius; the dogmatic in pseudo-
Barnabas; the  moral, in the Pastor of Hermas; canon law, in the letter  
of St. Clement of Rome; church history, in the Acts of  the martyrdom 
of Polycarp and Ignatius. Owing to the  unexpected recovery of lost 
manuscripts we may add: the  liturgical style, in the Didache; the 
catechetical, in  the "Proof of the Apostolic Preaching" by St. 
Irenaeus. 
Although the different epochs of the patristic age  overlap each other, 
it may be said in general that the  apologetic style predominated in 
the first epoch up to  Constantine the Great, while in the second 
epoch, that is  to say up to the time of Charlemagne, dogmatic 
literature  prevailed. We can here only trace in the most general  
outlines this theological activity, leaving to patrology  the 
discussion of the literary details. 
When the Christian writers entered the lists against  paganism and 
Judaism, a double task awaited them: they  had to explain the principal 
truths of natural religion,  such as God, the soul, creation, 
immortality, and freedom  of the will; at the same time they had to 
defend the  chief mysteries of the Christian faith, as the Trinity,  
Incarnation, etc., and had to prove their sublimity,  beauty, and 
conformity to reason. The band of loyal  champions who fought against 
pagan Polytheism and  idolatry is very large: Justin, Athenagoras, 
Tatian,  Theophilus of Antioch, Hermias, Tertullian, Clement of  
Alexandria, Origen, Cyprian, Minucius Felix, Commodianus,  Arnobius, 
Lactantius, Prudentius, Firmicius Maternus,  Eusebius of Cæsarea, 
Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus,  Cyril of Alexandria, Nilus, 
Theodoret, Orosius, and  Augustine. The most eminent writers in the 
struggle  against Judaism were: Justin, Tertullian, Hippolytus,  
Cyprian, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius,  Chrysostom, Cyril 
of Alexandria, Isidore of Seville. The  attacks of the Fathers were 
not, of course, aimed at the  Israelitic religion of the Old Testament, 
which was a  revealed religion, but at the obstinacy of those Jews  
who, clinging to the dead letter of the Law, refused to  recognize the 
prophetic spirit of the Old Testament. 
But far greater profit resulted from conflict with the  heresies of the 
first eight centuries. As the flint, when  it is struck by the steel, 
gives off luminous sparks, so  did dogma, in its clash with heretical 
teaching, shed a  new and wonderfully brilliant light. As the errors 
were  legion, it was natural that in the course of the  centuries all 
the principal dogmas were, one by one,  treated in monographs which 
established their truth and  provided them with a philosophical basis. 
The struggle of  the Fathers against Gnosticism, Manichæism, and  
Priscillianism served not only to bring into clearer  light the essence 
of God, creation, the problem of evil;  it moreover secured the true 
principles of faith and the  Church's authority against heretical 
aberrations. In the  mighty struggle against Monarchianism, 
Sabellianism, and  Arianism an opportunity was afforded to the Fathers 
and  the ecumenical councils to establish the true meaning of  the 
dogma of the Trinity, to secure it on all sides and  to draw out, by 
speculation, its genuine import. When the  contest with Eunomianism 
broke out, the fires of  theological and philosophical criticism 
purified the  doctrine of God and our knowledge of Him, both earthly  
and heavenly. Of world-wide interest were the  Christological disputes, 
which, beginning with the rise  of Apollinarianism, reached their 
climax in Nestorianism,  Monophysitism, and Monothelitism, and were 
revived once  more in Adoptionism. In this long and bitter strife, the  
doctrine of Christ's person, of the Incarnation, and  Redemption, and 
in connection herewith Mariology also,  was placed on a sure and 
permanent foundation, from which  the Church has never varied a hair's 
breadth in later  ages. The following may be mentioned as the Eastern  
Champions in this scientific dispute on the Trinity and  Christology: 
the great Alexandrines, Clement, Origen, and  Didymus the Blind; the 
heroic Athanasius and the three  Cappadocians (Basil, Gregory of 
Nazianzus, and Gregory of  Nyssa); Cyril of Alexandria and Leontius of 
Byzantium;  finally, Maximus the Confessor and John Damascene. In the  
West the leaders were: Tertullian, Cyprian, Hilary of  Poitiers, 
Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Fulgentius of  Ruspe, and the two popes, 
Leo I and Gregory I. As the  contest with Pelagianism and Semi-
pelagianism purified  the dogmas of grace and liberty, providence and  
predestination, original sin and the condition of our  first parents in 
Paradise, so in like manner the contests  with the Donatists brought 
out more clearly and strongly  the doctrine of the sacraments 
(baptism), the  hierarchical constitution of the Church her magisterium  
or teaching authority, and her Infallibility. In all  these struggles 
it was Augustine who ever led with  indomitable courage, and next to 
him came Optatus of  Mileve and a long line of devoted disciples. The 
last  contest was decided by the Second Council of Nicæa (787);  it was 
in this struggle that, under the leadership of St.  John Damascene, the 
communion of saints, the invocation  of the saints, the veneration of 
relics and holy images  were placed on a scientific basis.    It may be 
seen from this brief outline that the dogmatic  teachings of the 
Fathers are a collection of monographs  rather than a systematic 
exposition. But the Fathers  broke the ground and furnished the 
material for erecting  the system afterwards. In the case of some of 
them there  are evident signs of an attempt to synthesize dogma into  a 
complete and organic whole. Irenæus (Adv, hær., III-V)  shows traces of 
this tendency; the well-known trilogy of  Clement of Alexandria (d. 
217) marks an advance in the  same direction; but the most successful 
effort in  Christian antiquity to systematize the principal dogmas  of 
faith was made by Origen in his work "De principiis",  which is 
unfortunately disfigured by serious errors. His  work against Celsus, 
on the other hand, is a classic in  apologetics and of lasting value. 
Gregory of Nyssa (d.  394), skilled in matters philosophical and of 
much the  same bent of mind as Origen, endeavoured in his "Large  
Catechetical Treatise" (logos katechetikos ho megas) to  correlate in a 
broad synthetic view the fundamental  dogmas of the Trinity, the 
Incarnation, and the  Sacraments. In the same manner, though somewhat  
fragmentarily, Hilary (d. 366) developed in his valuable  work "De 
Trinitate" the principal truths of Christianity.  The catechetlcal 
instructions of St. Cyril of Jerusalem  (d. 386) especially his five 
mystagogical treatises, on  the Apostles' Creed and the three 
Sacraments of Baptism,  Confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist, contain 
an almost  complete dogmatic treatise, St. Epiphanius (d. 496), in  his 
two works "Ancoratus" and "Panarium", aimed at a  complete dogmatic 
treatise, and St. Ambrose (d. 397) in  his chief works: "De fide", "De 
Spiritu S.", "De  incarnation", "De mysteriis", "De poenitentia", 
treated  the main points of dogma masterfully and in classic  Latinity, 
though without any attempt at a unifying  synthesis. In regard to the 
Trinity and Christology, St.  Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) is even 
today a model for  dogmatic theologians. Though all the writings of St.  
Augustine (d. 430) are an inexhaustible mine, yet he has  written one 
or two works, as the "De fide et symbolo" and  the "Enchiridium", which 
may justly be called compendia  of dogmatic and moral theology. 
Unsurpassed is his  speculative work "De Trinitate" His disciple 
Fulgentius  of Ruspe (d. 533) wrote an extensive and thorough  
confession of faith under the title, "De fide ad Petrum,  seu regula 
rectae fidei", a veritable treasure for the  theologians of his day.
 
Towards the end of the Patristic Age Isidore of Seville  (d. 636) in 
the West and John Damascene (b. ab. 700) in  the East paved the way for 
a systematic treatment of  dogmatic theology. Following closely the 
teachings of St.  Augustine and St. Gregory the Great, St. Isidore 
proposed  to collect all the writings of the earlier Fathers and to  
hand them down as a precious inheritance to posterity.  The results of 
this undertaking were the "Libri III  sententiarum seu de summo bono" 
Tajus of Saragossa (650)  had the same end in view in his "Libri V 
sententiarum".  The work of St. John Damascene (d. after 754) was 
crowned  with still greater success; for not only did he gather  the 
teachings and views of the Greek Fathers, but by  reducing them to a 
systematic whole he deserves to be  called the first and the only 
scholastic among the  Greeks. His main work, which is divided into 
three parts,  is entitled: "Fons scientiæ" (pege gnoseos), because it  
was intended to be the source, not merely of theology,  but of 
philosophy and Church history as well. The third  or theological part, 
known as "Expositio fidei orthodoxae"  (ekthesis tes orthodoxou 
pisteos), is an excellent  combination of positive and scholastic 
theology, .and  aims at thoroughness both in establishing and in  
elucidating the truth. Greek theology has never gone  beyond St. John 
Damascene, a standstill caused  principally by the Photian schism 
(869). The only Greek  prior to him who had produced a complete system 
of  theology was Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, in the  fifth 
century; but he was more popular in the West, at  least from the eighth 
century on, than in the East.  Although he openly wove into the genuine 
Catholic system  neo-Platonic thoughts and phrases, nevertheless he  
enjoyed an unparalleled reputation among the greatest  Scholastics of 
the Middle Ages because he was supposed to  have been a disciple of the 
Apostles, For all that,  Scholasticism did not take its guidance from 
St. John  Damascene or Pseudo-Dionysius, but from St. Augustine,  the 
greatest of the Fathers. Augustinian thought runs  like a golden thread 
through the whole progress of  Western philosophy and theology. It was 
Augustine who led  everywhere, who always pointed out the right path, 
and  from whom all schools sought direction. Even the heretics  tried 
to bolster up their errors with the strength of his  reputation. Today 
his greatness is recognized and  appreciated more and more, as 
specialized research goes  more deeply into his works and brings to 
view his genius.  As Scheeben remarks, "It would be easy to compile 
from  his writings a rich system of dogmatic theology." We  cannot help 
admiring the skill with which he ever kept  God, as the beginning and 
end of all things, in the  central position, even where he was 
compelled to depart  from earlier opinions which he had found to be 
untenable.  The English-speaking world may well be proud of the  
Venerable Bede (d. 735), a contemporary of St. John  Damascene. Owing 
to his unusually solid education in  theology, his extensive knowledge 
of the Bible and of the  Fathers of the Church, he is the link which 
joins the  patristic with the medieval history of theology. 
II. 	THE MIDDLE AGES (800-1500)
The beginnings of Scholasticism may be traced back to the  days of 
Charlemagne (d. 814). Thence it progressed in  ever-guickening 
development to the time of Anselm of  Canterbury, Bernard of Clairvaux, 
and Peter the Lombard,  and onward to its full growth in the Middle 
Ages (first  epoch, 800-1200). The most brilliant period of  
Scholasticism embraces about 100 years (second epoch,  1200-1300), and 
with it are connected the names of  Alexander of Hales, Albertus 
Magnus, Bonaventure, Thomas  Aquinas, and Duns Scotus. From the 
beginning of the  fourteenth century, owing to the predominance of  
Nominalism and to the sad condition of the Church,  Scholasticism began 
to decline (third epoch, 1300-1500). 
A.   First epoch: Beginning and Progress of Scholasticism (800-1200) 
In the first half of this epoch, up to the time of St.  Anselm of 
Canterbury, the theologians were more concerned  with preserving than 
with developing the treasures stored  up in the writings of the 
Fathers. The sacred science was  cultivated nowhere with greater 
industry than in the  cathedral and monastic schools, founded and 
fostered by  Charlemagne. The earliest signs of a new thought appeared  
in the ninth century during the discussions relative to  the Last 
Supper (Paschasius Radbertus, Ratramnus, Rabanus  Maurus). These 
speculations were carried to a greater  depth in the second Eucharistic 
controversy against  Berengarius of Tours (d. 1088), (Lanfranc, 
Guitmund,  Alger, Hugh of Langres, etc.). Unfortunately, the only  
systematic theologian of this time, Scotus Eriugena (d.  after 870), 
was an avowed Pantheist, so that the name of  "Father of Scholasticism" 
which some would give him, is  wholly unmerited. But the one who fully 
deserves this  title is St. Anselm of Canterbury (d. 1109). For he was  
the first to bring a sharp logic to bear upon the  principal dogmas of 
Christianity, the first to unfold and  explain their meaning in every 
detail, and to draw up a  scientific plan for the stately edifice of 
dogmatic  theology. Taking the substance of his doctrine from  
Augustine, St. Anselm, as a philosopher, was not so much  a disciple of 
Aristotle as of Plato, in whose masterly  dialogues he had been 
thoroughly schooled. Another pillar  of the Church was St. Bernard of 
Clairvaux (d. 1153), the  "Father of Mysticism". Though for the most 
part the  author of ascetic works with a mystical tendency, he used  
the weapons of scientific theology against Abelard's  Rationalism and 
the exaggerated Realism of Gilbert de La  Porrée. It is upon the 
doctrine of Anselm and Bernard  that the Scholastics of succeeding 
generations took their  stand, and it was their spirit which lived in 
the  theological efforts of the University of Paris. Less  prominent, 
yet noteworthy, are: Ruprecht of Deutz,  William of Thierry, Gaufridus, 
and others. 
The first attempts at a theological system may be seen in  the so-
called "Books of Sentences", collections and  interpretations of 
quotations from the Fathers, more  especially of St. Augustine. One of 
the earliest of these  books is the "Summa sententiarum" of Hugh of St. 
Victor  (1141). His works are characterized throughout by a close  
adherence to St. Augustine and, according to the verdict  of Scheeben, 
may even yet serve as guides for beginners  in the theology of St. 
Augustine. Less praise is due to  the similar work of Robert Pulleyn 
(d. 1146), who is  careless in arranging the matter and confuses the 
various  questions of which he treats. Peter the Lombard, called  the 
"Magister Sententiarum" (d. 1164), on the other hand,  stands far above 
them all. What Gratian had done for  canon law the Lombard did for 
dogmatic and moral  theology. With untiring industry he sifted and 
explained  and paraphrased the patristic lore in his "Libri IV  
sententiarum", and the arrangement which he adopted was,  in spite of 
the lacunæ, so excellent that up to the  sixteenth century his work was 
the standard text-book of  theology. The work of interpreting this 
masterpiece began  as early as the thirteenth century, and there was no  
theologian of note in the Middle Ages who did not write a  commentary 
on the Sentences of the Lombard. Hundreds of  these commentaries are 
still resting, unprinted, beneath  the dust of the libraries. No other 
work exerted such a  powerful influence on the development of 
scholastic  theology. Neither the analogous work of his disciple,  
Peter of Poitiers (d. 1205), nor the important "Summa  aurea" of 
William of Auxerre (d. after 1230) superseded  the Lombard's 
"Sentences" Along with Alain of Lille (d,  1203), William of Auvergne 
(d. 1248), who died as  Archbishop of Paris, deserves special mention. 
Though  preferring the free, unscholastic method of an earlier  age, he 
yet shows himself at once an original philosopher  and a profound 
theologian. Inasmuch as in his numerous  monographs on the Trinity, the 
Incarnation, the  Sacraments, etc., he took into account the anti-
Christian  attacks of the Arabian exponents of Aristoteleanism, he  is, 
as it were, the connecting link between this age and  the most 
brilliant epoch of the thirteenth century.  
B. Second Epoch: Scholasticism at its Zenith (1200-1300) 
This period of Scholasticism was marked not only by the  appearance of 
the "Theological Summæ", but also by the  building of the great Gothic 
cathedrals, which bear a  sort of affinity to the lofty structures of  
Scholasticism. (Cf. Emil Michael, S. J., "Geschichte des  deutschen 
Volkes vom 13. Jahrh. bis zum Ausgang des  Mittelalters", V, Freiburg, 
1911, 15 sq.) Another  characteristic feature was the fact that in the  
thirteenth century the champions of Scholasticism were to  be found in 
the great religious orders of the Franciscans  and Dominicans, beside 
whom worked the Augustinians,  Carmelites, and Servites. This brilliant 
period is  ushered in by two master-minds: the one a Franciscan,  
Alexander of Hales (d. about 1245), the other a  Dominican, Albert the 
Great (d. 1280). The "Summa  theologiæ" of Alexander of Hales, the 
largest and most  comprehensive work of its kind, is distinguished by 
its  deep and mature speculation, though flavoured with  Platonism. The 
arrangement of the subjects treated  reminds one of the method in vogue 
today. An intellectual  giant not merely in matters philosophical and 
theological  but in the natural sciences as well, was Albert the  
Great. It was he who made the first attempt to present  the entire 
philosophy of Aristotle in its true form and  to place it at the 
service of Catholic theology -- an  undertaking of far-reaching 
consequences. The logic of  Aristotle had indeed been rendered into 
Latin by Boethius  and had been used in the schools since the end of 
the  sixth century; but the physics and metaphysics of the  Stagirite 
were made known to the Western world only  through the Arabian 
philosophers of the thirteenth  century, and then in such a way that 
Aristotle's doctrine  seemed to clash with the Christian religion. This 
fact  explains why his works were prohibited by the Synod of  Paris, in 
1210, and again by a Bull of Gregory IX in  1231. But after the 
Scholastics, led by Albert the Great,  had gone over the faulty Latin 
translation once more, had  reconstructed the genuine doctrine of 
Aristotle and  recognized the fundamental soundness of his principles,  
they no longer hesitated to take, with the approval of  the Church, the 
pagan philosopher as their guide in the  speculative study of dogma. 
Two other representatives of the great orders are the  gigantic figures 
of Bonaventure (d. 1274) and of Thomas  Aquinas (d. 1274), who mark the 
highest development of  Scholastic theology. St. Bonaventure, the 
"Seraphic  Doctor", clearly follows in the footsteps of Alexander of  
Hales, his fellow-religious and predecessor, but  surpasses him in 
depth of mysticism and clearness of  diction. Unlike the other 
Scholastics of this period, he  did not write a theological "Summa", 
but amply made up  for it by his "Commentary on the Sentences", as well 
as  by his famous "Breviloquium", a "casket of pearls",  which, brief 
as a compendium, is nothing less than a  condensed Summa. Alexander of 
Hales and Bonaventure are  the real representatives of the old 
Franciscan Schools,  from which the later School of Duns Scotus 
essentially  differed. Yet it is not Bonaventure, but Thomas Aquinas,  
who has ever been honoured as the "Prince of  Scholasticism". St. 
Thomas holds the same rank among the  theologians as does St. Augustine 
among the Fathers of  the Church. Possessed of angelic rather than 
human  knowledge, the "Doctor angelicus" is distinguished not  only for 
the wealth, depth, and truth of his Ideas and  for his systematic 
exposition of them, but also for the  versatility of his genius, which 
embraced all branches of  human knowledge. For dogmatic theology his 
most important  work is the "Summa theologica". Experience has shown  
that, as faithful adherence to St. Thomas means progress,  so a 
departure from his teachings invariably brings with  It a decline of 
Catholic theology. It seems providential,  therefore, that Leo XIII in 
his Encyclical "Æterni  Patris" (1879) restored the study of the 
Scholastics,  especially of St. Thomas, in all higher Catholic schools,  
a measure which was again emphasized by Pope Pius X. The  fears 
prevalent in some circles that by the restoration  of Scholastic 
studies the results of modern thought would  be forced back to the 
antiquated viewpoint of the  thirteenth century are shown to be 
groundless by the fact  that both popes, while insisting on the 
acquisition of  the "wisdom of St. Thomas", yet emphatically disclaim 
any  intention to revive the unscientific notions of the  Middle Ages. 
It would be folly to ignore the progress of  seven centuries, and, 
moreover, the Reformation,  Jansenism, and the philosophies since Kant 
have  originated theological problems which St. Thomas in his  time 
could not foresee. Nevertheless, it is a convincing  proof of the 
logical accuracy and comprehensiveness of  the Thomistic system that it 
contains at least the  principles necessary for the refutation of 
modern errors. 
Before the brilliancy of the genius of St. Thomas even  great 
theologians of this period wane into stars of the  second and third 
magnitude. Still, Richard of Middleton  (d. 1300), whose clearness of 
thought and lucidity of  exposition recall the master mind of Aquinas, 
is a  classical representative of the Franciscan School. Among  the 
Servites, Henry of Ghent (d. 1293), a disciple of  Albert the Great, 
deserves mention; his style is original  and rhetorical, his judgments 
are independent, his  treatment of the doctrine on God attests the 
profound  thinker. In the footsteps of St. Thomas followed his  pupil 
Peter of Tarentaise, who later became Pope Innocent  V (d. 1276), and 
Ulric of Strasburg (d. 1277), whose name  is little known, though his 
unprinted "Summa" was held in  high esteem in the Middle Ages. The 
famous General of the  Augustinians, Ægidius of Rome (d. 1316), a scion 
of the  noble family of the Colonna, while differing in some  details 
from the teaching of St. Thomas yet in the main  adhered to his system. 
In his own order his writings were  considered as classics. But the 
attempt of the  Augustinian Gavardus in the seventeenth century to 
create  a distinctly "Ægidian School" proved a failure. On the  other 
hand, adversaries of St. Thomas sprang up even in  his lifetime. The 
first attack, came from England and was  led by William de la Mare, of 
Oxford (d. 1285). Speaking  broadly, English scholars, famous for their 
originality,  played no mean part in the intellectual life of the  
Middle Ages. Being more of an empirical and practical  than of an 
aprioristic and theoretical bent of mind, they  enriched science with a 
new element. Their predilection  for the natural sciences is also the 
outcome of this  practical sense. Like the links of an unbroken chain  
follow the names of Bede, Alcuin, Alfred (Anglicus),  Alexander of 
Neckham, Alexander of Hales, Robert  Grosseteste, Adam of Marsh, John 
Basingstoke, Robert  Kilwardby, John Pecham, Roger Bacon, Duns Scotus, 
Occam.  Kuno Fischer is right when he says: "When traveling  along the 
great highway of history, we may traverse the  whole of the middle ages 
down to Bacon of Verulam without  leaving England for a moment" 
("Francis Bacon",  Heidelberg, 1904, p. 4). 
This peculiar English spirit was embodied in the famous  Duns Scotus 
(1266--1308). while in point of ability he  belongs to the golden age 
of scholasticism, yet his bold  and virulent criticism of the Thomistic 
system was to a  great extent responsible for its decline. Scotus 
cannot  be linked with the old Franciscan school; he is rather  the 
founder of the new Scotistic School, which deviated  from the theology 
of Alexander of Hales and Bonaventure  not so much in matters of faith 
and morals as in the  speculative treatment of dogma. Greater still is 
his  opposition to the fundamental standpoint of Thomas  Aquinas. St. 
Thomas likens the system of theology and  philosophy to the animal 
organism, in which the vivifying  soul permeates all the members, holds 
them together, and  shapes them into perfect unity. In Scotus's own 
words, on  the other hand, the order of things is rather symbolized  by 
the plant, the root shooting forth branches and twigs  which have an 
innate tendency to grow away from the stem.  This fundamental 
difference also sheds light on the  peculiarities of Scotus's system as 
opposed to Thomism:  his formalism in the doctrine of God and the 
Trinity, his  loose conception of the Hypostatic Union, his relaxation  
of the bonds uniting the sacraments with the humanity of  Christ, his 
explanation of transubstantiation as an  adductive substitution, his 
emphasis on the supremacy of  the will, and so on. Though it cannot be 
denied that  Scotism preserved theological studies from a one-sided  
development and even won a signal victory over Thomism by  its doctrine 
concerning the Immaculate Conception, it is  nevertheless evident that 
the essential service it  rendered to Catholic theology in the long run 
was to  bring out, by the clash of arguments, the enduring  solidity of 
the Thomistic structure. No one can fail to  admire in St. Thomas the 
perspicuity of thought and the  lucidity of diction, as contrasted with 
the abstruse and  mystifying conceptions of his critic. In later 
centuries  not a few Franciscans of a calmer judgment, among them  
Constantine Sarnanus (1589) and John of Rada (1599), set  about 
minimizing or even reconciling the doctrinal  differences of the two 
masters. 
C.   Third Epoch: Gradual Decline of Scholasticism (1300-1500) 
The death of Duns Scotus (d. 1308) marks the close of the  golden era 
of the Scholastic system. What the following  period accomplished in 
constructive work consisted  chiefly in preserving, reproducing, and 
digesting the  results of former ages. But simultaneously with this  
commendable labour we encounter elements of  disintegration, due partly 
to the Fraticelli's wrong  conception of mysticism, partly to the 
aberrations and  superficiality of Nominalism, partly to the 
distressing  conflict between Church and State (Philip the Fair, Louis  
of Bavaria, the Exile at Avignon). Apart from the  fanatical 
enthusiasts who were leaning towards heresy,  the development and rapid 
spread of Nominalism must be  ascribed to two pupils of Duns Scotus: 
the Frenchman  Peter Aureolus (d. 1321) and the Englishman William 
Occam  (d. 1347), In union with Marsilius of Padua and John of  Jandun, 
Occam used Nominalism for the avowed purpose of  undermining the unity 
of the Church. In this atmosphere  flourished regalism and opposition 
to the primacy of the  pope, until it reached its climax in the false 
principle:  "Concilium supra Papam", which was preached from the  
housetops up to the time of the Councils of Constance and  Basle. It is 
only fair to state that it was the pressing  needs of the times more 
than anything else which led some  great men, as Pierre d'Ailly 
(d. 1425) and Gerson (d.  1429), to embrace a doctrine which they 
abandoned as soon  as the papal schism was healed. To understand the 
origin  of the errors of Wyclif, Huss, and Luther, the history of  
Nominalism must be studied. For what Luther knew as  Scholasticism was 
only the degenerated form which  Nominalism presents. Even the more 
prominent Nominalists  of the close of the Middle Ages, as the general 
of the  Augustinians, Gregory of Rimini (d. 1359), and Gabriel  Biel 
(d. 1495), who has been called the "last  Scholastic", did not escape 
the misfortune of falling  into grievous errors. Nominalistic 
subtleties, coupled  with an austere pseudo-Augustinism of the ultra- 
rigoristic type, made Gregory of Rimini the precursor of  Bajanism and 
Jansenism. Gabriel Biel, though ranking  among the better Nominalists 
and combining solidity of  doctrine with a spirit of loyalty to the 
Church, yet  exerted a baneful influence on his contemporaries, both  
by his unduly enthusiastic praise of Occam and by the  manner in which 
he commented on Occam's writings. 
The order which suffered least damage from Nominalism was  that of St. 
Dominic. For, with the possible exception of  Durand of St. Pouçain 
(d. 1332) and Holkot (d. 1349), its  members were as a rule loyal to 
their great fellow- religious St. Thomas. Most prominent among them 
during  the first half of the fourteenth century were: Hervaeus de  
Nedellec (d. 1323), a valiant opponent of Scotus, John of  Paris (d. 
1306); Peter of Palude (d. 1342); and  especially Raynerius of Pisa 
(d. 1348), who wrote an  alphabetical summary of the doctrine of St. 
Thomas which  even today is useful. A prominent figure in the fifteenth  
century is St. Antonine of Florence (d. 1459),  distinguished by his 
industry as a compiler and by his  versatility as an author; by his 
"Summa Theologiæ" he did  excellent service for positive theology. A 
powerful  champion of Thomism was John Capreolus (d. 1444), the  
"Prince of Thomists" (princeps Thomistarum). Using the  very words of 
St. Thomas, he refuted, in his adamantine  "Clypeus Thomistarum", the 
adversaries of Thomism in a  masterly and convincing manner. It was 
only in the early  part of the sixteenth century that commentaries on 
the  "Summa Theologica" of St. Thomas began to appear, among  the first 
to undertake this work being Cardinal Cajetan  of Vio (d. 1537) and 
Konrad Köllin (d. 1536). The  philosophical "Summa contra Gentes" found 
a masterly  commentator in Francis of Ferrara (d. 1528). 
Far less united than the Dominicans were the Franciscans,  who partly 
favoured Nominalism, partly adhered to pure  Scotism. Among the latter 
the following are worthy of  note: Francis Mayronis (d. 1327); John of 
Colonia; Peter  of Aquila (d. about 1370), who as abbreviator of Scotus  
was called Scotellus (little Scotus); Nicolaus de  Orbellis (ca. 1460), 
and above all Lichetus (d. 1520),  the famous commentator of Scotus. 
William of Vorrilong  (about 1400), Stephen Brulefer (d. 1485), and 
Nicholas of  Niise (d. 1509) belong to a third class which is  
characterized by the tendency to closer contact with St.  Bonaventure. 
A similar want of harmony and unity is  discernible in the schools of 
the other orders. While the  Augustinians James of Viterbo (d. 1308) 
and Thomas of  Strasburg (d. 1357) attached themselves to Aegidius of  
Rome, thereby approaching closer to St. Thomas, Gregory  of Rimini, 
mentioned above, championed an undisguised  Nominalism. Alphonsus 
Vargas of Toledo (d. 1366), on the  other hand, was an advocate of 
Thomism in its strictest  form. Among the Carmelites, also, 
divergencies of  doctrine appeared. Gerard of Bologna (d. 1317) was a  
staunch Thomist, while his brother in religion John  Baconthorp 
(d. 1346) delighted in trifling controversies  against the Thomists. 
Drifting now with Nominalism, now  with Scotism, this original genius 
endeavoured, though  without success, to found a new school in his 
order.  Generally speaking, however, the later Carmelites were  
enthusiastic followers of St. Thomas. The Order of the  Carthusians 
produced in the fifteenth century a prominent  and many-sided 
theologian in the person of Dionysius  Ryckel (d. 1471), surnamed "the 
Carthusian", a descendant  of the Leevis family, who set up his chair 
in Roermond  (Holland). From his pen we possess valuable commentaries  
on the Bible, Pseudo-Dionysius, Peter the Lombard, and  St. Thomas. He 
was equally conversant with mysticism and  scholasticism. Albert the 
Great, Henry of Ghent, and  Dionysius form a brilliant constellation 
which shed  undying lustre on the German theology of the Middle Ages. 
Leaving the monasteries and turning our attention to the  secular 
clergy, we encounter men who, in spite of many  defects, are not 
without merit in dogmatic theology. The  first to deserve mention Is 
the Englishman Thomas  Bradwardine (d. 1340), the foremost 
mathematician of his  day and Archbishop of Canterbury. His work "De 
causa Dei  contra Pelagianos" evinces a mathematical mind and an  
unwonted depth of thought. Unfortunately it is marred by  an unbending, 
somber rigorism, and this to such an extent  that the Calvinistic 
Anglicans of a later century  published it in defence of their own 
teachings. The Irish  Bishop Richard Radulphus of Armagh (d. 1360), in 
his  controversy with the Armenians, also fell into dogmatic  
inaccuracies, which paved the way for the errors of  Wyclif. We may 
note in passing that the learned Carmelite  Thomas Netter (d. 1430), 
surnamed Waldensis, must be  regarded as the ablest controversialist 
against the  Wyclifites and Hussites. The great Cardinal Nicholas of  
Cusa (d. 1404) stands out prominently as the inaugurator  of a new 
speculative system in dogmatic theology; but his  doctrine is in many 
respects open to criticism. A  thorough treatise on the Church was 
written by John  Torquemada (d. 1468), and a similar work by St. John  
Capistran (d. 1456). A marvel of learning, and already  acknowledged as 
such by his contemporaries, was Alphonsus  Tostatus (d. 1454), the 
equal of Nicholas of Lyra (d.  1341) in Scriptural learning. He merits 
a place in the  history of dogmatic theology, inasmuch as he 
interspersed  his excellent commentaries on the Scriptures with  
dogmatic treatises, and in his work "Quinque paradoxa"  gave to the 
world a fine treatise on Christology and  Mariology. 
As was to be expected, mysticism went astray in this  period and 
degenerated into sham pietism. A striking  example of this is the 
anonymous "German Theology",  edited by Martin Luther. This work must, 
however, not be  confounded with the "German Theology" of the pious 
bishop  Berthold of Chiemsee (d. 1543), which, directed against  the 
Reformers, is imbued with the genuine spirit of the  Catholic Church. 
III.	MODERN TIMES (1500-1900)
As during the Patristic, Period the rise of heresies was  the occasion 
of the development of dogmatic theology in  the Church, so the manifold 
errors of the Renaissance and  of the Reformation brought about a more 
accurate  definition of important articles of faith. Along other  lines 
also both these movements produced good effects.  While in the period 
of the Renaissance the revival of  classical studies gave new vigour to 
exegesis and  patrology, the Reformation stimulated the universities  
which had remained Catholic, especially in Spain  (Salamanca, Alcalá, 
Coimbra) and in the Netherlands  (Louvain), to put forth an 
enthusiastic activity in  intellectual research. Spain, which had 
fallen behind  during the Middle Ages, now came boldly to the front. 
The  Sorbonne of Paris regained its lost prestige only towards  the end 
of the sixteenth century. Among the religious  orders the newly-founded 
Society of Jesus probably  contributed most to the revival and growth 
of theology.  Scheeben distinguishes five epochs in this period. 
A.   First Epoch: Preparation (1500-1570) 
It was only by a slow process that Catholic theology rose  from the 
depths into which it had fallen. The rise of the  Reformation (1517) 
had inflicted serious wounds on the  Church, and the defection of so 
many priests deprived her  of the natural resources on which the study 
of theology  necessarily depends. Nevertheless the list of the loyal  
contains many brilliant names, and the controversial  works of those 
times include more than one valuable  monograph. It was but natural 
that the whole literature  of this period should bear an apologetical 
and  controversial character and should deal with those  subjects which 
had been attacked most bitterly: the rule  and sources of faith, the 
Church, grace, the sacraments,  especially the holy Eucharist. Numerous 
defenders of the  faith arose in the very country which had given birth 
to  the Reformation: John Eck (d. 1543), Cochlæus (d. 1552),  Staphylus 
(d. 1564), James of Hoogstraet (d. 1527), John  Gropper (d. 1559), 
Albert Pighius (d. 1542), Cardinal  Hosius (d. 1579), Martin Cromer 
(d. 1589), and Peter  Canisius (d. 1597). The last-named gave to the 
Catholics  not only his world-renowned catechism, but also a most  
valuable Mariology. With pride and enthusiasm we look  upon England, 
where the two noble martyrs John Fisher,  Bishop of Rochester 
(d. 1535), and Thomas More (d. 1535)  championed the cause of the 
Catholic faith with their  pen, where Cardinal Pole (d. 1568), Stephen 
Gardiner (d.  1555), and Cardinal William Allen (d. 1594), men who  
combined refinement with a solid education, placed their  learning at 
the service of the persecuted Church, while  the Jesuit Nicholas 
Saunders wrote one of the best  treatises on the Church. In Belgium the 
professors of the  University of Louvain opened new paths for the study 
of  theology, foremost among them were: Ruardus Tapper (d.  1559), John 
Driedo (d. 1535), Jodocus Ravesteyn (d.  1570), John Hessels (d. 1566), 
John Molanus (d. 1585),  and Garetius (d. 1571). To the last-named we 
owe an  excellent treatise on the holy Eucharist. In France James  
Merlin, Christopher Chefontaines (d. 1595), and Gilbert  Genebrard 
(d. 1597) rendered great services to dogmatic  theology. Sylvester 
Pierias (d. 1523), Ambrose Catharinus  (d, 1553), and Cardinal 
Seripandus are the boast of  Italy. But, above all other countries, 
Spain is  distinguished by a veritable galaxy of brilliant names:  
Alphonsus of Castro (d. 1558), Michael de Medina (d.  1578), Peter de 
Soto (d. 1563). Some of their works have  remained classics up to our 
own times, as "De natura et  gratia" (Venice 1547) of Dominic Soto; "De 
justificatione  libri XV" (Venice, 1546) of Andrew Vega; "De locis  
theologicis" (Salamanca, 1563) of Melchior Cano.  
B.   Second Epoch: Late Scholasticism at its Height (1570-1660) 
Even in the preceding epoch the sessions of the Council  of Trent 
(1545-1563) had exerted a beneficial influence  on the character and 
extent of dogmatic literature. After  the close of the council there 
sprang up everywhere a new  life and a marvelous activity m theology 
which recalls  the best days of the Patristic Era and of Scholasticism  
but surpasses both by the wealth and variety of its  literary 
productions. We are not here concerned with the  industry displayed in 
Biblical and exegetical research.  But the achievements of 
controversial, positive, and  scholastic theology deserve a passing 
notice. 
(i)    Controversial theology was carried to the highest  perfection by 
Cardinal Bellarmine (d. 1621). There is no  other theologian who has 
defended almost the whole of  Catholic theology against the attacks of 
the Reformers  with such clearness and convincing force. Other  
theologians remarkable for their masterly defence of the  Catholic 
Faith were the Spanish Jesuit Gregory of  Valencia (d. 1603) and his 
pupils Adam Tanner (d.. 1635)  and James Gretser (d. 1625), who taught 
in the University  of Ingolstadt. To the Englishman Thomas Stapleton 
(d.  1508) we owe a work, unsurpassed even in our days, on the  
material and formal principle of Protestantism. Cardinal  du Perron 
d. 1618) of France successfully entered the  arena against James I of 
England and Philip Mornay, and  wrote a splendid treatise on the holy 
Eucharist. The  eloquent pulpit orator Bossuet (d. 1627) wielded his 
pen  in refuting Protestantism from the standpoint of history.  The 
"Praescriptiones Catholicae", a voluminous work of the  Italian Gravina 
(7 vols., Naples, 1619-39), possesses  enduring value. Martin Becanus 
(d. 1624), a Belgian  Jesuit, published his handy and well-known 
"Manuale  controversiarum". In Holland the defence of religion was  
carried on by the two learned brothers Adrian (d. 1669)  and Peter de 
Walemburg (d. 1675), both auxiliary bishops  of Cologne and both 
controversialists, who easily ranked  among the best. Even the distant 
East was represented in  the two Greek converts, Peter Arcudius 
(d. 1640) and Leo  Allatius (d. 1669). 
(ii)    The development of positive theology went hand in  hand with 
the progress of research into the Patristic Era  and into the history 
of dogma. These studies were  especially cultivated in France and 
Belgium. A number of  scholars, thoroughly versed in history, published 
in  excellent monographs the results of their investigations  into the 
history of particular dogmas. Morinus (d. 1659)  made the Sacrament of 
Penance the subject of special  study; Isaac Habert (d. 1668), the 
doctrine of the Greek  Fathers on grace; Hallier (d. 1659), the 
Sacrament of  Holy orders, Garnier (d.1681), Pelagianism; De champs 
(d. 1701), Jansenism; Tricassinus (d. 1681), St. Augustine's  doctrine 
on grace. Unfortunately, among the highly gifted  representatives of 
this historico-dogmatical school were  to be found men who deviated 
more or less seriously from  the unchangeable teachings of the Catholic 
Church, as  Baius, Jansenius the Younger, Launoy, de Marca, Dupin,  and 
others. Though Nicole and Arnauld were Jansenists,  yet their 
monumental work on the Eucharist, "Perpétuité  de la foi" (Paris, 1669-
74), has not yet lost its value.  But there are two men, the Jesuit 
Petavius (d. 1647) and  the Oratorian Louis Thomassin (d. 1695), who by 
their  epoch-making works: "Dogmata theologica", placed positive  
theology on a new basis without disregarding the  speculative element. 
(iii)    So great was the enthusiasm with which the  religious orders 
fostered scholastic theology and brought  it to perfection that the 
golden era of the thirteenth  century seemed to have once more 
returned. It was no mere  chance that St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure 
were just then  proclaimed Doctors of the Church, the first by Plus V,  
the other by Sixtus V. By these papal acts the two  greatest luminaries 
of the past were proposed to the  theologians as models to be zealously 
imitated. Thomism,  guarded and cherished by the Dominicans, proved 
anew its  full vitality. At the head of the Thomistic movement was  
Bañez (d. 1604), the first and greatest opponent of the  Jesuit Molina 
(d. 1600). He wrote a valuable commentary  on the theological "Summa" 
of St. Thomas, which, combined  with a similar work by Bartholomew 
Medina (d. 1581),  forms a harmonious whole. Under the leadership of 
Bañez a  group of scholarly Dominicans took up the defence of the  
Thomistic doctrine on grace: Alvarez (d. 1635), de Lemos  (d. 1629), 
Ledesma (d. 1616), Massoulié (d. 1706),  Reginaldus (d. 1676), Nazarius 
(d. 1646), John a St.  Thoma (d. 1644), Xantes Mariales (d. 1660), 
Gonet (d.  1681), Goudin (d. 1695), Contenson (d. 1674), and others.  
However, the most scholarly, profound, and comprehensive  work of the 
Thomistic school did not come from the  Dominicans, but from the 
Carmelites of Salamanca; it is  the invaluable "Cursus Salmanticensis" 
(Salamanca, 1631- 1712) in 15 folios, a magnificent commentary on the  
"Summa" of St. Thomas. The names of the authors of this  immortal work 
have unfortunately not been handed down to  posterity. Outside the 
Dominican Order, also, Thomism had  many zealous and learned friends: 
the Benedictine  Alphonsus Curiel (d. 1609), Francis Zumel (d. 1607), 
John  Puteanus (d. 1623), and the Irishman Augustine Gibbon (d.  1676), 
who laboured in Spain and at Erfurt in Germany.  The Catholic 
universities were active in the interest of  Thomism. At Louvain 
William Estius (d. 1613) wrote an  excellent commentary on the "Liber 
Sententiarum" of Peter  the Lombard, which was permeated with the 
spirit of St.  Thomas, while his colleagues Wiggers and Francis Sylvius  
(d. 1649) explained the theological "Summa" of the master  himself. In 
the Sorbonne Thomism was worthily represented  by men like Gammaché 
(d. 1625), Andrew Duval (d. 1637),  and especially by the ingenious 
Nicholas Ysambert (d.  1624). The University of Salzburg also furnished 
an able  work in the "Theologia scholastica" of Augustine Reding,  who 
held the chair of theology in that university from  1645 to 1658, and 
died as Abbot of Einsiedeln in 1692. 
The Franciscans of this epoch in no way abandoned their  doctrinal 
opposition to the school of St. Thomas, but  steadily continued 
publishing commentaries on Peter the  Lombard, which throughout breathe 
the genuine spirit of  Scotism. It was especially Irish Franciscans who 
promoted  the theological activity of their order, as Mauritius  
Hibernicus (d. 1603), Anthony Hickay (Hiquæus, d. 1641),  Hugh 
Cavellus, and John Ponce (Pontius, d, 1660). The  following Italians 
and Belgians also deserve to be  mentioned: Francis de Herrera (about 
1590), Angelus  Vulpes (d. 1647), Philip Fabri (d. 1630), Bosco 
(d.  1684), and Cardinal Brancatus de Laurea (d. 1693).  Scotistic 
manuals for use in schools were published about  1580 by Cardinal 
Sarnanus and by William Herincx, this  latter acting under the 
direction of the Franciscans. The  Capuchins, on the other hand, 
adhered to St. Bonaventure,  as, e. g., Peter Trigos (d. 1593), Joseph 
Zamora (d.  1649), Gaudentius of Brescia, (d. 1672), Marcus a  Baudunio 
(d. 1673), and others. 
But there can be no question that Scholastic theology  owes most of its 
classical works to the Society of Jesus,  which substantially adhered 
to the "Summa" of St. Thomas,  yet at the same time made use of a 
certain eclectic  freedom which seemed to be warranted by the 
circumstances  of the times. Molina (d. 1600) was the first Jesuit to  
write a commentary on the theological "Summa" of St.  Thomas. He was 
followed by Cardinal Toletus (d. 1596) and  by Gregory of Valencia 
(d. 1603), mentioned above as a  distinguished controversialist. A 
brilliant group in the  Society of Jesus are the Spaniards Francis 
Suarez,  Gabriel Vasquez, and Didacus Ruiz. Suarez (d. 1617), the  most 
prominent among them, is also the foremost  theologian that the Society 
of Jesus has produced. His  renown is due not only to the fertility and 
the wealth of  his literary productions, but also to his "clearness,  
moderation, depth, and circumspection" (Scheeben). He  truly deserves 
the title of "Doctor eximius" which  Benedict XIV gave him. In his 
colleague Gabriel Vasquez  (d. 1604) Suarez; found a critic both subtle 
and severe,  who combined positive knowledge with depth of  
speculation. Didacus Ruiz (d. 1632) wrote masterly works  on God and 
the Trinity, subjects which were also  thoroughly treated by 
Christopher Gilles (d. 1608).  Harruabal (d. 1608), Ferdinand Bastida 
(d. about 1609),  Valentine Herice, and others are names which will 
forever  be linked with the history of Molinism. During the  succeeding 
period James Granado (d. 1632), John  Praepositus (d. 1634), Caspar 
Hurtado (d. 1646), and  Anthony Perez (d. 1694) won fame by their 
commentaries on  St. Thomas. But, while devoting themselves to 
scientific  research, the Jesuits never forgot the need of  
instruction. Excellent, often voluminous, manuals were  written by 
Arriaga (d. 1667), Martin Esparza (d. 1670),  Francis Amicus (d. 1651), 
Martin Becanus (d. 1625), Adam  Tanner (d. 1632), and finally by 
Sylvester Maurus (d.  1687), who is not only remarkable for clearness, 
but also  distinguished as a philosopher. Hand in hand with this  more 
general and comprehensive literature went important  monographs, 
embodying special studies on certain dogmatic  questions. Entering the 
lists against Baius and his  followers, Martinez de Ripalda (d. 1648) 
wrote the best  work on the supernatural order. To Leonard Lessius 
(d.  1623) we owe some beautiful treatises on God and His  attributes. 
Aegidius Coninck (d. 1633) made the Trinity,  the Incarnation, and the 
sacraments the subject of  special studies. Cardinal John de Lugo 
(d. 1660), noted  for his mental acumen and highly esteemed as a 
moralist,  wrote on the virtue of faith and the Sacraments of  Penance 
and the Eucharist. Claude Tiphanus (d. 1641) is  the author of a 
classical monograph on the notions of  personality and hypostasis. 
Cardinal Pallavicini (d.  1667), known as the historiographer of the 
Council of  Trent, won repute as a dogmatic theologian by several of  
his writings. 
C.   Third Epoch: Further Activity and Gradual Decline of Scholasticism 
     (1660-1760) 
While the creative and constructive work of the previous  epoch still 
continued, though with languishing vitality,  and ushered in a second 
spring of dogmatic literature,  other currents of thought set in which 
gradually prepared  the way for the decline of Catholic theology.  
Cartesianism in philosophy, Gallicanism, and Jansenism  were sapping 
the strength of the sacred science. There  was scarcely a country or 
nation that was not infected  with the false spirit of the age. Italy 
alone remained  immune and preserved its ancient purity and orthodoxy 
in  matters theological. 
One might have expected that, if anywhere at all,  theology would be 
securely sheltered within the schools  of the old religious orders. Yet 
even some of these  succumbed to the evil influences of the times, 
losing  little by little their pristine firmness and vigour.  
Nevertheless, it is to them that almost all the  theological literature 
of this period and the revival of  Scholasticism are due, A product of 
the Thomistic school,  widely used and well adapted to the needs of the 
time,  was the standard work of the Dominican Billuart (d.  1757), 
which with exceptional skill and taste explains  and defends the 
Thomistic system in scholastic form. The  dogmatic theology of Cardinal 
Gotti, however, rivals, if  it does not surpass, Billuart's work, both 
as regards the  substance and the soundness of its contents. Other  
Thomists produced valuable monographs: Drouin on the  sacraments and 
Bernard de Rubeis (d. 1775) on original  sin. More eclectic in their 
adherence to Thomism were the  Cardinals Celestine Sfondrato (d. 1696) 
and Aguirre (d.  1699); the latter's work "Theology of St. Anselm" in  
three volumes is replete with deep thought. Among the  Franciscans 
Claudius Frassen (d. 1680) issued his elegant  "Scotus academicus", a 
counterpart to the Thomistic  theology of Billuart. Of the Scotistic 
School we also  mention Gabriel Boyvin, Krisper (d. 1721), and Kick 
(d. 1769). Eusebius Amort (d. 1775), the foremost theologian  in 
Germany, also represented a better type, combining  sound conservatism 
with due regard for modern demands.  The Society of Jesus still 
preserved something of its  former vigour and activity. Simmonet, Ulloa 
(d. about  1723), and Marin were the authors of voluminous  scholastic 
works. But now the didactical and pedagogical  interests began to 
assert themselves, and called for  numerous textbooks of theology. We 
mention Platel (d.  1681), Antoine (d. 1743), Pichler (d. 1736), 
Sardagna (d.  1775), Erber, Monschein (d. 1769), and Gener. But both as  
regards matter and form all these textbooks were  surpassed by the 
"Theologia Wirceburgensis", which the  Jesuits of Würzburg published in 
1766-71. In addition to  the old religious orders, we meet during this 
period the  new school of Augustinians, who based their theology on  
the system of Gregory of Rimini rather than on that of  Aegidius of 
Rome. Because of the stress they laid on the  rigoristic element in St. 
Augustine's doctrine on grace,  they were for a time suspected of 
Baianism and Jansenism,  but were cleared of this suspicion by Benedict 
XIV. To  this school belonged the scholarly Lupus (d. 1681) at  Louvain 
and Cardinal Noris (d. 1704), distinguished for  his subtle intellect. 
But its best work on dogmatic  theology came from the pen of Lawrence 
Berti (d. 1766).  His fellow-workers in the same field were Bellelli 
(d.  1742) and Bertieri. The French Oratory, falling from its  lofty 
eminence, was buried in Jansenism, as the names of  Quesnel, Lebrun, 
and Juenin sufficiently indicate. 
The Sorbonne of Paris, developing the germs of Jansenism and 
Gallicanism, ceased to keep abreast of the time.  Abstracting, however, 
from this fact, theology owes works  of great merit to men like Louis 
Habert (d. 1718), du  Hamel (d. 1706), L'Herminier, Witasse (d. 1716).  
Creditable exceptions were Louis Abelly (d. 1691) and  Martin Grandin, 
who distinguished themselves by their  loyalty to the Church. The same 
encomium must be said of  Honoratus Tournely (d. 1729), whose 
"Praelectiones  dogmaticae" are numbered among the best theological 
text- books. A staunch opponent of Jansenism, he would  certainly have 
challenged Gallicanism, had not the law of  the realm prevented him. 
For the rest, the Church  depended almost exclusively on Italy in its 
scientific  combat against the pernicious errors of the time. There  
had gathered a chosen band of scholars who courageously  fought for the 
purity of the faith and the rights of the  papacy. In the front rank 
against Jansenism stood the  Jesuits Dominic Viva (d. 1726), La 
Fontaine (d. 1728),  Alticozzi (d. 1777), and Faure (d. 1779). 
Gallicanism and  Josephinism were hard pressed by the theologians of 
the  Society of Jesus, especially by Zaccaria (d. 1795),  Muzzarelli 
(d. 1749), Bolgeni (d. 1811), Roncaglia, and  others. The Jesuits were 
ably seconded by the Dominicans  Orsi (d. 1761) and Mamachi (d. 1792). 
Another champion in  this struggle was Cardinal Gerdil (d. 1802). 
Partly to  this epoch belongs the fruitful activity of St. Alphonsus  
Liguori (d. 1787), whose popular rather than scientific  writings 
energetically opposed the baneful spirit of the  time. 
D.   Fourth Epoch: Decay of Catholic Theology (1760-1840)  
Many circumstances, both from within and from without,  contributed 
towards the further decadence of theology  which had already begun in 
the preceding epoch. In France  it was the still powerful influence of 
Jansenism and  Gallicanism, in the German Empire the spread of  
Josephinism and Febronianism that sapped the vitality of  orthodox 
theology. The suppression of the Society of  Jesus by Clement XIV in 
1773 deprived theology of its  ablest representatives. To these factors 
must be added  the paralyzing influence of the "Enlightenment" which,  
rising through English Deism, was swelled by French  Encyclopedism and 
finally deluged all European countries.  The French Revolution and the 
military expeditions of  Napoleon all through Europe were not without 
evil  consequences. The false philosophy of the time (Kant,  Schelling, 
Fichte, Hegel, Cousin, Comte, etc.), by which  even many theologians 
were misled, engendered not only an  undisguised contempt for 
Scholasticism and even for St.  Thomas, but also fostered a shallow 
conception of  Christianity, the supernatural character of which was  
obscured by Rationalism. True, the spirit of former  centuries was 
still alive in Italy, but the unfavourable  circumstances of the times 
impeded its growth and  development. In France the Revolution and the 
continual  campaigns paralyzed or stifled all productive activity.  
De Lamennais (d. 1854), the beginning of whose career had  held out 
promises of the highest order, turned from the  truth and led others 
astray. The Catholics of England  groaned under political oppression 
and religious  intolerance. Spain had become barren. Germany suffered  
from the mildew of "Enlightenment". No matter how mildly  one may judge 
the aberrations of Wessenberg (1774-1860),  Vicar-General of Constance, 
who had absorbed the false  ideas of his age, it is certain that the 
movement begun  by him marked a decadence in matters both 
ecclesiastical  and scientific. But the poorer the productions of the  
theologians the greater their pride. They despised the  old 
theologians, whom they could neither read nor  understand. Among the 
few works of a better sort were the  manuals of Wiest (1791), Klüpfel 
(1789), Dobmayer (1807),  and Brenner (1826). The ex-Jesuit Benedict 
Stattler (d.  1797) tried to apply to dogma the philosophy of Christian  
Wolff, Zimmer (1802), even that of Schelling. The only  work which, 
joining soundness with a loyal Catholic  spirit, marked a return to the 
old traditions of the  School was the dogmatic theology of Liebermann 
(d. 1844),  who taught at Strasburg and Mainz; it appeared in the  
years 1819-26 and went through many editions. But even  Liebermann was 
not able to conceal his dislike for the  Scholastics. The renewed 
attempt of Hermes (d. 1831) of  Bonn to treat Catholic theology in a 
Kantian spirit was  no less fatal than that of Günther (d. 1863) in 
Vienna,  who sought to unravel the mysteries of Christianity by  means 
of a modern Gnosis and to resolve them into purely  natural truths. If 
positive and speculative theology were  ever to be regenerated, it was 
by a return to the source  of its vitality, the glorious traditions of 
the past. 
E.   Fifth Epoch: Restoration of Dogmatic Theology (1840-1900)  
The reawakening of the Catholic life in the forties  naturally brought 
with it a revival of Catholic theology.  Germany especially, where the 
decline had gone farthest,  showed signs of a remarkable regeneration 
and vigorous  health. The external impulse was given by Joseph Görres  
(d. 1848), the "loud shouter in the fray". When the  Prussian 
Government imprisoned Archbishop von Droste- Vischering of Cologne on 
account of the stand he had  taken in the question of mixed marriages, 
the fiery  appeals of Görres began to fill the hearts of the  
Catholics, even outside of Germany, with unwonted  courage. The German 
theologians heard the call and once  more applied themselves to the 
work which was theirs.  Döllinger (d. 1890) developed Church history, 
and Möhler  advanced patrology and symbolism. Both positive and  
speculative theology received a new lease of life, the  former through 
Klee (d. 1840), the latter through  Staudenmeier (d. 1856). At the same 
time men like  Kleutgen (d. 1883), Werner (d. 1888), and Stöckl 
(d. 1895) earned for the despised Scholasticism a new place  of honour 
by their thorough historical and systematic  writings. In France and 
Belgium the dogmatic theology of  Cardinal Gousset (d. 1866) of Reims 
and the writings of  Bishop Malou of Bruges (d. 1865) exerted great 
influence.  In North America the works of Archbishop Kenrick (d.  1863) 
did untold good. Cardinal Camille Mazzella (d.  1900) is to be ranked 
among the North American  theologians, as he wrote his dogmatic works 
while  occupying the chair of theology at Woodstock College,  Maryland. 
In England the great Cardinals Wiseman (d.  1865), Manning (d. 1892), 
and Newman (d. 1890) became by  their works and deeds powerful agents 
in the revival of  Catholic life and in the advance of Catholic 
theology. 
In Italy, where the better traditions had never been  forgotten, far-
seeing men like Sanseverino (d. 1865),  Liberatore (d. 1892), and 
Tongiorgi (d. 1865) set to work  to restore Scholastic philosophy, 
because it was found to  be the most effective weapon against the 
errors of the  time, i. e. traditionalism and ontologism, which had a  
numerous following among Catholic scholars in Italy,  France, and 
Belgium. The pioneer work in positive  theology fell to the lot of the 
famous Jesuit Perrone (d.  1876) in Rome. His works on dogmatic 
theology, scattered  throughout the Catholic world, freed theology of 
the  miasmas which had infected it. Under his leadership a  brilliant 
phalanx of theologians, as Passaglia (d. 1887),  Schrader (d. 1875), 
Cardinal Franzelin (d. 1886),  Palmieri (d. 1909), and others, 
continued the work so  happily begun and reasserted the right of the 
speculative  element in the domain of theology. Eminent among the  
Dominicans was Cardinal Zigliara, an inspiring teacher  and fertile 
author. Thus from Rome, the centre of  Catholicism, where students from 
all countries  foregathered, new life went forth and permeated all  
nations. Germany, where Baader (d. 1841), Günther, and  Frohschammer 
(d. 1893) continued to spread their errors,  shared in the general 
uplift and produced a number of  prominent theologians, as Kuhn 
(d. 1887), Berlage (d.  1881), Dieringer (d. 1876), Oswald (d. 1903), 
Knoll (d.  1863), Denzinger (d. 1883), v. Schäzler (d. 1880),  Bernard 
Jungmann (d. 1895), Heinrich (d. 1891), and  others. But Germany's 
greatest theologian at this time  was Joseph Scheeben (d. 1888), a man 
of remarkable talent  for speculation. In the midst of this universal  
reawakening the Vatican Council was held (1870), and the  Encyclical of 
Pope Leo XIII on the value of Scholastic,  especially Thomistic, 
philosophy and theology was issued  (1879). Both these events became 
landmarks in the history  of dogmatic theology. An energetic activity 
was put forth  in every branch of sacred science and is still  
maintained. Even though, consulting the needs of the time  and the 
hostile situation, theologians cultivate most  assiduously historical 
studies, such as Church history,  Christian archaeology, history of 
dogma, and history of  religion, yet signs are not wanting that, side 
by side  with positive theology, Scholasticism also will enter  upon a 
new era of progress. History shows that periods of  progress in 
theology always follow in the wake of great  ecumenical councils. After 
the first Council of Nicæa  (325) came the great period of the Fathers; 
after the  Fourth Lateran Council (l215) the wonderful age of mature  
Scholasticism; and after the Council of Trent (1545-63)  the activity 
of later Scholasticism. It is not too much  to hope that the Vatican 
Council which had to be  adjourned indefinitely after a few general 
sessions, will  be followed by a similar period of progress and  
splendour. 
No critical history of Catholic dogma has as yet been  written. In 
general cf. LAFORÊT, Coup d' œil sur  l'histoire de la Théologie 
dogmatique (Louvaln, 1851).  Ample material is given in: POSSEVIN, 
Apparatus sacer (3  vols., Venice, 1603-06); DU PIN, Nouvelle 
Bibliothéque  des auteurs ecclésiastiques (11 vols., Paris, 1686-1714);  
OUDIN, Commentarius de scriptoribus ecclesiasticus (3  vols., Leipzig, 
1722); CAVE, Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum  historia literaria (2nd ed., 
Oxford, 1740-43); FABRICIUS,  Bibliotheca latina mediœ et infimœ œtatis 
(5 vols.,  Hamburg, 1734--); CEILLIER, Histoire générale des Auteurs  
sacrés et ecclésiastiques (2nd ed., 19 vols., Paris,  1858-70); SMITH 
AND WACE, Dict. Christ. Biog., MICHAUD,  Biographie universelle 
ancienne et moderne (2nd ed., 45  vols., Paris, 1842-65); WERNER, 
Geschichte der  apologetischen und polemischen Literatur der christl.  
Religion (5 vols., Schaffhausen, 1861--); CAPOZZA, Sulla  Filosofia dei 
Padri e Dottori della Chiesa e in  ispecialita di San Tommaso (Naples, 
1868); WILLMANN,  Geschichte des Idealismus (2nd ed., 3 vols., 
Brunswick,  1908). An invaluable work of reference is HURTER,  
Nomenclator. With regard to the several countries cf.  TANNER, 
Bibliotheca Brittanico-Hibernica seu de  scriptoribus, qui in Anglia, 
Scotia et Hibernia ad sœc.  xviii initium floruerunt (London, 1748); 
Dict. Nat. Biog.  The MAURISTS published: Histoire littéraire de la 
France  (12 vols., Paris, 1733-63), which was continued by the  
INSTITUT DE FRANCE (20 Vols., Paris, 1814-1906);  MAZZUCHELLI, Gli 
scrittori d'ltalia (2 vols., Brescia,  1753-63); TIRABOSCHI, Storia 
della Letteratura italiana  (13 vols., Modena, 1771-82); KRUMBACHER, 
Geschichte der  byzantinischen Literatur (2nd ed., Munich, 1897); 
WRIGHT,  A Short History of Syriac Literature (London, 1894);  CHABOT, 
Corpus scriptorum Christianorum orientalium  (Paris, 1903--). With 
regard to various religious orders  cf. ZIEGEL-BAUER, Historia rei 
literariœ Ordinis S.  Benedicti (4 vols., Augsburg, 1754); TASSIN, 
Histoire  littéraire de la Congrégation de Saint-Maure (Brussels,  
1770); WADDING, Scriptores Ordinis Minorum (2nd ed., 2  vols., Rome, 
1805); DE MARTIGNY, La Scolastique et les  traditions franciscaines 
(Paris, 1888); FELDER,  Geschichte der wissenschaftlichen Studien im  
Franziskanerorden (Freiburg, 1904); QUÉTIF ECHARD,  Scriptores Ordinis 
Prœdicatorum (2 vols., Paris, 1719- 21); REICHERT, Monumenta Ordinis 
Fratrum Prœdicatorum  historica (Rome, 1896--); DE VILLIERS, 
Bibliotheca,  Carmelitana notis criticis et dissertationibus illustrata  
(2 vols., Orléans, 1752); DE VISCH, Bibliotheca  scriptorum Ordinis 
Cisterciensis (2nd ed., Colm, 1656);  GOOVAERTS, Dictionnaire 
biobibliographique des écrivains,  artistes et savants de Ordre de 
Prémontré (2 vols.,  Brussels, 1899-1907); WINTER, Die Prämonstratenser 
des  12. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1865); OSSINGER, Bibliotheca  
Augustiniana historica, critica et chronologica  (Ingolstadt, 1768); 
SOUTHWELL, Bibliotheca scriptorum  Societatis Jesu (Rome, 1676); 
SOMMERVOGEL, Bibliothèque  de la Compagnie de Jésus (9 vols., Brussels 
and Paris,  1890-1900), The histories of dogma by SCHWANE, HARNACK,  
TIXERONT, etc., may also be consulted with profit. 
 
With regard to the special literature of the Patristic  Period, cf. 
EHRHARD, Die altchristliche Literatur u. ihre  Erforschung seit 1880 (2 
vols., 1894-1900); DONALDSON, A  Critical History of Christian 
Literature and Doctrine  from the Death of the Apostles to the Nicene 
Council (3  vols., London, 1865-66); RICHARDSON, The Antenicene  
Fathers. A Bibliographical Synopsis (Buffalo, 1887);  CRUTTWELL, A 
Literary History of Early Christianity (2  vols., London, 1893); 
SCHOENEMANN, Bibliotheca historico- litteraria Patrum latinorum a 
Tertulliano usque ad  Gregorium M. et Isidorum Hispalensem (2 vols., 
Leipzig,  1792-94); HARNACK, Geschichte der altchristlichen  Literatur 
bis Eusebius (3 vols., Leipzig, 1893-1904);  MÖHLER, Patrologie 
(Ratisbon, 1840); MIGNE-SEVESTRE,  Dictionnaire de Patrologie (4 vols., 
Paris, 1851-55);  NIRSCHL, Lehrbuch der Patrologie u. Patristik (3 
vols.,  Mainz, 1881-85); ALZOG, Grundriss der Patrologie (4th  ed., 
Freiburg, 1888); FESSLER-JUNGMANN, Institutiones  Patrologiœ (2 vols., 
Innsbruck, 1890-1896); BARDENHEWER,  Geschichte der altkirchlichen 
Literatur, I-II (Freiburg,  1902-3): IDEM, Patrologie (3rd ed., 
Freiburg, 1910);  RAUSCHEN, Grundriss der Patrologie (3rd ed., 
Freiburg,  1910); STÖKL, Geschichte der christl. Philosophie zur  Zeit 
der Kirchenväter (Mainz, 1891). Of great importance  are also: A. 
HARNACK U. C. SCHMIDT, Texte u.  Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der 
altchristl. Literatur  (Leipzlg, 1882--); ROBINSON, Texts and Studies  
(Cambridge, 1891--); HEMMER-LEJAY, Textes et Documents  (Paris, 1904
With regard to the middle Ages cf. especially SCHEEBEN,  Dogmatik, I 
(Freiburg, 1873) 423 sqq.; GRABMANN,  Geschichte der scholastichen 
Methode, I, II (Freiburg,  1909-11); IDEM in BUCHBERGER, Kirchliches 
Handlexikon, s.  v. Scholastik; SIGHARDT, Albertus Magnus, sein Leben 
u.  seine Werke (Ratisbon, 1857); WERNER, Der hl. Thomas von  Aquin (3 
vols., Ratisbon, 1858--); BACH, Die  Dogmengeschichte des Mittelalters 
vom christologischen  Standpunkt (2 vols., Vienna, 1873-75); SIMLER, 
Des sommes  de théologie (Paris, 1871). With regard to the universities 
cf. BULÆUS, Historia Universitatis  Parisiensis (Paris, 1665-73); 
DENIFLE, Die Universitäten  des Mittelalters, I (Berlin, 1885); DENIFLE 
AND  CHATELAIN, Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis (4  vols., 
Paris, 1889-97); RASHDALL, The Univerities of  Europe in the Middle 
Ages (Oxford, 1895); FERET, La  Faculté de Théologie de Paris et ses 
Docteurs les plus  célèbres, I: Moyen-âge (4 vols., Paris. 1894-97); 
ROBERT,  Les écoles et l'enseignement de la Théologie pendant la  
première moitié du XII siècle (Paris, 1909); MICHAEL,  Geschichte des 
deutschen Volkes vom 3. Jahrh. bis zum  Ausgang des Mittelalters, II, 
III (Freiburg, 1899-1903);  EBERT, Allgemeine, Geschichte der Literatur 
des  Mittelalters im Abendlande (3 vols., Leipzig, 1874-87).  With 
regard to Scholastic philosophy, cf. HAURÉAU,  Histoire de la 
Philosophie scolastique (3 vols., Paris.  1872); DE WULF, History of 
Medieval Philosophy, tr.  COFFEY (London, 1909); STÖCKL, Geschichte der 
Philosophie  des Mittelalters (3 vols., Mainz, 1864-66); BÄUMKER in  
Die Kultur der Gegenwart by HINNEBERG, I (Leipzig, 1909),  5; DENIFLE 
AND EHRLE, Archiv für Literatur- u.  Kirchengeschichte (7 vols., Berlin 
and Freiburg, 1885- 1900); BÄUMKER AND VON HERTLING, Beiträge zur 
Philosophie  des Mittelalters (Münster, 1891--). On mysticism cf.  
PREGER, Geschichte der deutschen Mystik im Mittelalter (3  vols., 
Leipzig, 1874-93); LANGENBERG, Quellen u.  Forschungen zur Geschichte 
der deutschen Mystik (Leipzig,  1904); RIBET, La Mystique divine (4 
vols., Paris, 1895-- ); DELACROIX, Etudes d'histoire et de psychologie 
du  Mysticisme (Paris, 1908). 
On modern times cf. GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath.;  FERET, La Faculté 
de Théologie de Paris et ses Docteurs  les plus célèbres: II, Epoque 
moderne (3 vols., Paris,  1900-04); LAEMMER, Vortridentinische 
Theologen des  Reformationszeitalters (Berlin, 1858); WERNER, Franz  
Suarez u. die Scholastik der letzten Jahrhunderte (2  vols., Ratisbon, 
1860); IDEM, Geschichte der Theologie in  Deutschland seit dem Trienter 
Konzil bis zur Gegenwart  (2nd ed., Ratisbon, 1889); for the time of  
"Enlightenment" in particular, cf. RÖSCH, Das religiöse  Leben in 
Hohenzollern unter dem Einfluss des  Wessenbergianismus (Freiburg, 
1908); IDEM, Ein neuer  Historiker der Aufklärung (Freiburg, 1910); 
against him, MERKLE, Die katholische Beurteilung des 
Aufklärungszeitalters (Würzburg, 1909); IDEM, Die kirchliche Aufklärung 
im katholischen Deutschland (Würzburg, 1910); SÄGMÜLLER, Wissenschaft 
u. Glaube in der kirchlichen Aufklärung (Tübingen, 1910); IDEM, 
Unwissenschaftlichkeit u. Unglaube in der kirchlichen Aufklärung 
(Tübingen, 1911); HETTINGER, Thomas von Aquin u. die europäische 
Civilisation (Würzburg, 1880); WEHOFER, Die geistige Bewegung im 
Anschluss an die Thomas-Enzyklika Leo's XIII (1897); DE GROOT, Leo XIII 
u. der hl. Thomas (1897); BELLAMY, La Théologie catholique au XIX 
siècle (Paris, 1904).   

 

Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter

From the Catholic Encyclopedia 
Copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc. 

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