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PETRUS THOMAE'S PROOF FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD Petrus Thomae,1 Franciscan theologian, called doctor strenuus, invincibilis, proficuus, serenus, considered by his contemporaries magnus scotista, was born c. 1280 in Catalonia and died c. 1340 near Avignon. He studied theology at the University of Paris. Between 1317 and 1332 he was teaching philosophy and theology at the Franciscan Studium Generale of Barcelona. In 1233 he was appointed papal penitentiary in Avignon. In 1336, he was accused of sorcery, and processed and jailed in the prison of Noves, south of Avignon, where he died before 13 October 1340.2 His works, as listed by G. G. Bridges,3 with the number of manuscripts in which they survive, are: I. Commentarium in primum librum Sententiarum (one MS); II. De esse intelligibili (4 MSS); III. De ente (3 MSS); IV. Formalitates breves et conflátiles (28 MS; first ed. H. Nucciarelli, Venice 1517); V. Quodlibet (1 MSS; ed. By E. Buytaert and M. R. Hooper, St. Bonaventure 1957); VI. De unitate minori (1 MS); VII. De divite christiano (2 MSS); VIII. Liber de originali Virginis conceptione (6 MSS; ed. Petrus de Alva, Monumenta antiqua seraphica pro Immaculata Conceptione Virginis Mariae, Lovanii 1665, 212a-274b. Add: Quaestiones in Metaphysicam Aristotelis, according to P. Künzle.4 Recently, S. D. Dumont published question 13 of De ente.5 'The first biography of him was written by Marti de Barcelona, Estudis Franciscans 39 (1927): 90-103. 2I. C. Brady, "The Later Years of Petrus Thomae, OFM," Studia mediaevalia et mariologica, Roma 1971, 249-257. ^Identity and Distinction in Petrus Thomae, O. F. M. (St. Bonaventure, NY: Franciscan Institute Publications 14, 1959), 177-180. 4" Mitteilungen aus Codex Mazarine 3490 zum Schriftum des Franziskaners Petrus Thomae, vorab zu seinen Quaestiones in Metaphysicam ", Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 59 (1966): 3-37. 5" The Univocity of the Concept of Being in the Fourteenth Century: II. The De Ente of Peter Thomae ", Mediaeval Studies 50 (1988): 186-256. On pp. 187f., in foot notes 3-4, Dumont lists all the articles written about Peter since 1927. Add Alfonso Maierù, "Lógica e teología trintaria nel commeneto alie Sentenze attribuito a Petrus Thomae," Lectionum Vanetates (Hommage à Paul Vignaux, Paris 1991), 1771198 ; S. D. Dumont, "Trancendental Being. Scotus and Scotists," Topoi 11 (1992): 135-148. 115 Franciscan Studies, Vol. 56 (1998) 1 1 6 GEDEON GAL Although it is not likely that Peter studied theology under Duns Scotus, some of his teachers almost certainly did; therefore we thought it worthwhile to publish his question on the existence of God. It parallels, simplifies, and facilitates the understanding oí the corresponding question of Scotus. According to A. B.Wolter,6 "of the great scholastics no one devoted more attention and care to the developing a proof for the existence of God than did Duns Scotus." No doubt, that is the reason why so many Medieval and modern scholars paid attention to it: explaining, interpreting, criticizing, or defending it. The number of books and articles dealing one way or another with the proof of the Subtle Doctor are close to 300.7 It is reasonable to assume that those who were closer to Scotus were able to understand his teaching better. A good example of this assumption is John Reading, the 45th Regent Master of the Franciscan Studium in Oxford in 1319. He knew Scotus personally and sometimes reports what the Subtle Doctor told him vivae vocis oráculo. Recently, Dr. G. Etzkorn published his questions 2 and 3 of the second distinction of the first book of his Sentences commentary.8 It is, perhaps, the most complete and authoritative presentation of Scotus's arguments for the existence and unicity of God, combined with stringent refutation of the critiques of Robert Cowton, William of Alnwick, Peter Aureoli, and William of Ockham. Whoever wishes to understand Duns Scotus's proof for the existence of God should read John Reading's exposition. Peter's question Utrum sit demonstrabile Deum esse causam primam is question 2 of distinction 2 of his first book on the Sentences. It is preserved in cod. Vat. lat. 1106 [= V], ff. 85r-89v.9 It is a paper manuscript of the XIVth...


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