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THE AUTHORSHIP OF A COMMENTARY ON THE FRANCISCAN RULE PUBLISHED AMONG THE WORKS OF ST. BONAVENTURE* At the opening of the new year 1269, Gerard of Abbeville, secular master of theology at the University of Paris, preached before the Friars Minor in their own church that the Franciscan doctrine of poverty was a heretical denial of the Church's right to own property.1 Gerard, subsequently expounded and expanded his challenge in sermon, question, quodlibet, and tract. The Franciscans were not slow to answer the attack, and by the summer of 1270, they had made their two principal literary contributions to the poverty controversy: the Apologia pauperum contra calumniatorem,2 by the Minister General, St. Bonaventure, and the Tractatus pauperis contra insipientem,3 by John Pecham, regent * The research for this article was done at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 1 "Qui enim prerogativam vel privilegium perfectionis excellentissime propter abdicationem proprietatis vel communis possessionis suo statui contendit ascribere, privilegium ecclesie Romane contendit auferre, quando excellentiam sui status ipsius ecclesie Romane intenditpreferre; talis dicendus est hereticus ..." Gerard of Abbeville, "Sermo factus apud Fratres Minores," ed. Max Bierbaum, Bettelorden und Weltgeistlichkeit an der Universität Paris: Texte und Untersuchungen zum literarischen Armuts- und Exemptionsstreit des 13. Jahrhunderts, 1255—I2y2 (Franziskanische Studien, 2. Beiheft; Münster in Westfalen, 1920), p. 211. For the date of the sermon, see Bierbaum , ibid, pp.357—-58 (December 31, 1270); Palemón Glorieux, "Les polémiques 'contra Geraldinos,' " Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale, 6 (1934), 26, 40 (January 1, 1269); Sophronius Ciasen, O.F.M., Der hl. Bonaventura und das Mendikantentum ("Franziskanische Forschungen," 7. Heft; Werl in Westfalen: Verlag Franziskus-Druckerei, 1940), pp. 12—-13 (January ?, 1269); Yves M.-J. Congar, "Aspects ecclésiologiques de la querelle entre mendiants et séculiers dans la seconde moitié du xiiie siècle et le début du xive," Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen age, 36 (1961), 46 (December 31, 1268). 2 S. Bonaventurae opera omnia (10 vols.; Quaracchi: Typographia CoIlegii S. Bonaventurae, 1882—1902), VIII, 233—-330. Cited henceforth in the text as Apologia. Eng. trans. José de Vinck, The Works of Bonaventure, Vol. IV: Defense of the Mendicants (Paterson: St. Anthony Guild Press, 1966). 8 John Pecham, Tractatus pauperis, cap. 1—6 ed. Anastase van den Wyngaert, O.F.M. ("Editions de la France franciscaine"; Paris, 1925); cap. 7—9 ed. Ferdinand M. Delorme, O.F.M., "Trois chapitres de Jean Peckam pour la défense des Ordres mendiants," Studi francescani, 3a ser., 29 158CONRAD HARKINS, O. F. M. master of theology at Paris. The content of these two works, written within a few months of each other, testifies to the existence of a Franciscan "brief" against the charges of the secular clergy.4 The arguments and sometimes the very words of the Apologia and the Tractatus reappear in a third writing, which is the subject of this article. A commentary on the Franciscan Rule, Expositio super Regulam Fratrum Minorum,6 has been generally ascribed to Bonaventure since the fifteenth century and often has been published among the works of this eminent Franciscan. However, four decades ago a claim was advanced for Pecham, and since that time the identity of the author has been problematic. This article is a contribution to the authorship controversy. After first setting forth the history of the controversy, the article examines, in the second section, relevant papal documents and Franciscan writings in an attempt to fix the date of composition and discover witnesses of authorship. The third section determines on the strength of internal evidence, principally taken from chapters four and nine of the Expositio, that the author of the commentary is certainly John Pecham. Finally, the article, endeavoring to establish the chronological order of Pecham's Franciscan writings, departs from past scholarship to date the Expositio after a related work, the Canticum pauperis.6 (1932), 47—62, 164—93; cap. 10 and 16 ed. Andrew G. Little in Fratris Johannis Pecham quondam Archiepiscopi Cantuariensis tractatus tres de paupertate ("British Society of Franciscan Studies," Vol. II; Aberdeen: Typis Academicis, 1910), pp. 27—55, 63—90; cap. 11—14 ed. Delorme, Collectanea...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 157-248
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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