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  • The Idea of Limbo in Alexander of Hales and Bonaventure
  • Christopher Beiting, SFO, DPHIL (OXON.)
Christopher Beiting
Exeter College, University of Oxford


1. See J. Le Goff, The Birth of Purgatory (Cambridge, 1984).

2. Augustine, De Peccatorum meritis et remissione, et de baptismo parvulorum, i.21 (P.L. 44, p.120).

3. Viz, Augustine, De Civitate dei, xx.15 (P.L. 41, p.681)

4. Albertus Magnus, In III Sent. d. xxii, c, art. iv, and elsewhere.

5. See A Gaudel, "Limbes," Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique ix (Paris, 1926), 760-771; J. Le Goff, "Les limbes," Nouvelle revue de psychoanalyse xxxiv (1986), 151-173.

6. A. Vacant, "Alexandre de Halés" Dictionnaire de théologie catholique i (1930), 772-785, p.775.

7. F. Henquinet, "Le Commentaire d'Alexandre de Halès sur les Sentences enfin Retrouvé," Studi e Testi cxii, vol.2 (1946), 359-382.

8. See W. Principe, William of Auxerre's Theology of the Hypostatic Union (Toronto, 1963), p.14. The edition in question is: Alexander of Hales, Glossa in quatuor libros sententiarum, Bibliotheca Franciscana medii aevi xii-xv (Quaracchi, 1951-1957), 4 vols, hereafter abbreviated AHSent.

9. A. Emmen, "Alexander of Hales," New Catholic Encyclopedia i (1967), 296-297, p.296.

10. Alexander of Hales, Summa theologica, 4 vols. (Quaracchi, 1921-1948). All page references henceforth will be to this edition, hereafter abbreviated AHST.

11. Alexander of Hales, Summa, i, (ed. AHST, p.vii).

12. Roger Bacon, Fr. Rogeri Baconi opera hactenus inedita, i (London, 1859), p.326.

13. For the history of this controversy, see V. Doucet, "The History of the Problem of the Authenticity of the Summa," Franciscan Studies, vii (1947), 26-41, 274-312.

14. V. Doucet, "A New Source of the 'Summa Fratris Alexandri': The Commentary on the Sentences of Alexander of Hales," Franciscan Studies 6 (1946), 403-417, p.404.

15. E. Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (London, 1955), p.327.

16. Alexander of Hales, In 4 Sent. II, d.33, 1, (ed. AHSent, pp.312-313); following Anselm, De Conceptu virginali ii.

17. Alexander of Hales, In 4 Sent, II, d.32, 14, n.b."de parvulis qui non habent motum liberi arbitrii," (ed. AHSent, p.312).

18. Alexander of Hales, In 4 Sent. II, d.32, 7, "Dicendum quod originale dicitur poena solum prout pronitas est, sed est poena et culpa prout est carentia debitae iustitiae. Est enim poena prout contrahitur ex corruptione carnis parentis; et est culpa in comparatione qua per illam carentiam obligatur ad carentiam visionis Dei. Dicendum ergo quod, prout est pronitas, diciutr poena sui ipsius prout est carentia debitae iustitiae." (ed. AHSent, p.310)

19. Anselm, De Conceptu virginali ii. (in S. Anselmi opera omnia ed. F. Schmitt [Rome/Edinburgh], 1938-1968, 6 vols., ii, p.141)

20. Alexander of Hales, In 4 Sent., II, d.32, 10, "anima naturaliter appetit corpus." (ed. AHSent, p.311).

21. Ibid., xxiv. (ed. Schmitt, ii, 166-8).

22. Augustine, Quaestionum in heptateuchum, vi.8 (P.L. 34, p.778).

23. Alexander of Hales, In 4 Sent., II, d.33, 17 "Dicendum quod puniri possum poena temporali, sed non aeterna." (ed. AHSent, p.323).

24. Alexander of Hales, In 4 Sent., II, d.33, 16, "defectus potentiae vel cogitationis vel bonitatis." (p.322). Variant texts quote passages on the temporal punishments of the soul, which are sickness, ignorance, malice, and concupiscence. The temporal punishments of the body are divided into internal and external, internal being fomes and corruption, and external, being "the arrows of the Lord... cold, heat, hunger, thirst, labor, sickness, and death." ("Sagittae Domini...frigus, calor, fames, sitis, labor, morbus, et mors"). It is unclear whence these passages came; see Alexander of Hales, In 4 Sent. d.33, 16, n.22 (ed. AHSent, pp.322-323).

25. Alexander of Hales, In 4 Sent. II, d.32, 3, n.11, "in carne causaliter, in anima subiective," (p.307). For a more detailed look at what fomes denotes, see IV, d.4, 18 n.a (ed. AHSent, p.87-88).

26. Alexander believed that even the Virgin Mary was afflicted by both, although in her case concupiscence was "conquered by glory and right...


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