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SACRAMENTAL PENANCE IN ALEXANDER OF HALES' GLOSSA Despite recent publication of the authentic writings ascribed to Alexander of Hales, the accurate exposition and assessment of his personal insights on the sacrament of penance remain a task still wanting. True, there is no complete dearth of available research in this matter, for the majority of theological dictionaries and source-materials inevitably mention his contributions in regard to this sacrament.1 However, these generally betray a lack of precision and analysis-in-depth of the author's personal teachings, should one distinguish between his authentic statements and the more developed doctrines attributed to him for reasons of his influence. For one, the majority of expositors refer exclusively to the doctrines in the Summa theologica (Summa fratris Alexandra).2 If the internal and external evidence do attest to the authenticity of Summa I—III (c. 1235—1245) and do point to Alexander as "author" in a qualified sense,3 Summa IV rather represents the later compilation accomplished under William of Middleton's supervision. Historically this final section aws not compiled prior to Alexander's death in 1245. Although its 1 Cf. e. g. A. Michel, "Pénitence, du IV concile du Latran à la Réforme," in Diet, de théol. cath., XII/i, Paris 1933, 956—957; K. Rahner, "Busssakrament ," in Lex. für Theol. und Kirche2, II, Freiburg 1958, 833—834. 2 A. Michel published the above-cited article prior to the recent discovery and publication of Alexander's authentic works, apparently in close dependence upon the research of A. Teetaert, La confession aux laïques dans l'Église latine depuis le VIII jusqu' au XIV siècle (Universitär Catholica Lovaniensis, Dissertationes ad gradum magistri in Facúltate Theologica consequendum conscriptae, series II, tomus 17), Bruges 1926; idem, "Doctrine d' Alexandre d' Haies au sujet du sacrement de Pénitence," in Études franciscaines, 37 (1925), 333—354. K. Rahner professedly relied upon the conclusions derived from the Summa fratris Alexandri by P. Schmoll, Die Busslehre der Frühscholastik (Veröffentlichungen aus dem Kirchenhistorischen Seminar München , III, Reihe n. 5), München 1909, 135—150. 3 Qualified according to the accepted parlance of his time; in addition to the incorporation of his personal writings, Alexander emerges as initiator, promoter and one of the principal compilers in collaboration with John of La Rochelle (de Rupella). For the complete treatment of this problem, cf. V. Doucet, Alexandri de Hales Summa theologica seu sic ab origine dicta "Summa fratris Alexandri, IV, Prolegomena, Quaracchi 1948, especially pages LXXX-LXXXI, CCCVI—CCCVII, and CCCLV—CCCLXX ; idem, "Alessandro di Hales: Scritti," in Enciclopedia Cattolica, I, Città del Vaticano 1948, 786. Sacramental Penance in Alexander of Hales303 immediate dependence upon the Glossa in quatuor libros Sententiarum* and Quaestiones disputatae5 — Alexander's authentic6 theological works — has been critically established, the qualified authenticity determined for Summa I—III does not extend to the fourth part on the sacraments. Critical investigation bears unassailable evidence to the fact that Summa IV constitutes far more than the supposed transcription of the Master's personal writings; multiple instances exist of substantial (and at times verbal!) incorporation of texts from William of Middleton's Quaestiones de sacramentis (c. 1248), Odo Rigaux' Quaestiones (1245 to 1248), as well as Bonaventure's two works: Commentarius super IV Sent. (c. 1252) and Quaestiones de perfectione evangélica (c. 1255).7 The continuing search for Alexander of Hales' genuine doctrine on sacramental penance unquestionably imports the return to his pristine, truly authentic teachings. In the esteemed rationale of the Quaracchi editors, the "historical and genuine Alexander" cannot be known or understood unless he is accepted within the context of his quasi-commentary on Lombard's Sententiae and his scholastic disputations.8 The doctrinal differences that distinguish the genuine Alexander from the "traditionally accepted Master of the Summa" ought not to be discounted as insignificant or irrelevant.9 Consequently the most intensive and detailed scrutiny of Summa IV will never render that service. i. Particular studies Monographs and specialized studies on this particular phase of Alexander's teaching hardly abound. The published studies of W. Riit4 Magistri Alexandri de Hales Glossa in quatuor Libros Sententiarum Petri Lombardi (Bibliotheca Franciscana Medii...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 302-346
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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