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TOWARDS A DEFINITION OF LATE MEDIEVAL AUGUSTINIANISM ( ('. PLANE NOBISCUM EST AUGUSTINUS." Although these are the words of John Calvin in his Christianae Religionis lnstitutio,1 there were few theologians in the Middle Ages or Reformation who would not have said the same. Throughout the Middle Ages, the influence of Augustine was so comprehensive and his authority so unassailable that virtually no one would have dared to deny his " Augustianianism." Every medieval theologian, at the very least, paid lip-service to the authority of Augustine.2 In the Reformation too most of the parties involved appealed constantly to the authority of Augustine, and in fact, the entire controversy, in its early stages at least, can be understood as a " Kampf um Augustin."3 This almost universal desire among theologians to have Augustine on their side persisted well into the modern era when not only Jansenius and Pascal, but also the Dominicans, the Jesuit Molinists, and countless others claimed the authority of Augustine for their respective positions .4 Obviously then, there is a problem here for the historian of Christian thought. Who and what is to be designated as 1 Quoted in H. Oberman, " ' Tuus sum, salvum me fac .' Augustinrevcil zwischen Renaissance und Reformation" in Scientia Augustiniana, eds. C. Mayer and W. Eckermann, (Wiirzburg, 1975) , pp. 849-898, p. 871. 2 This of course does not imply an extensive familiarity with Augustine's works themselves. Often Augustine was known primarily through the various florilegia. Besides these, Lombard's Sentences was perhaps the most influential in transmitting a knowledge of Augustine to the late Middle Ages. 3 On this, see Karl Baur, Die Wittenberqer Universitatstheologie und die Anfiinge der Deutschen Reformation (Tiibingen, 19~8) . •Accordingly, as one would expect, "Augustinianism" has become an endless source of grist for the scholarly mill. In one decade alone there appeared well over 500 s,tudies on the influence of Augustine. Cf. T. Van Bavel, Repertoire Biblcographique de Saint Augustin, 1950-1960 (The Hague, 1963), nos. 4980-550~, and C. Andresen, Bibliographia Augustiniana (Darmstadt, 1973). 117 118 DENIS R. JANZ " Augustinian " when virtually every theologian makes some claim to that term? Would it not perhaps be in the best interests of historiographical clarity to abandon such an ambiguous concept? The use of the term " Augustinianism " is particularly problematic in relation to late medieval theology.5 In this field of scholarship, the problem is more than simply one of definition; it involves the very character and configuration of late medieval theology itself, and the concept is an important one in the effort to discern accurately the theological currents of the time. And it is also significant from the point of view of the Reformation " Kampf um Augustin." It is not surprising then that the scholarly debate on this issue has already been carried on for at least three quarters of a century. The initial impetus behind this debate was, as is still often the case, an interest in the significance of late medieval theology for the Reformation. Thus, at the turn of the century, scholars such as Carl Stange first seriously raised the question of Luther's relationship to the theology of his Order, and more particularly, to the theology of Gregory of Rimini.6 Soon thereafter , A. V. Muller argued that there was an Augustinian tradition in the late Middle Ages which adhered more closely to the teachings of Augustine than had Thomas Aquinas or Bonaventure .7 This tradition found its representatives in such figures as Simon Fidati of Cascia (d.1348), Hugolin of Orvieto (d.1373), Augustinus Favaroni of Rome (d.1443), and Jacobus Perez of Valencia (d.1470). Moreover, this tradition existed both inside and outside of the Augustinian Order. But the most important • B. Decker distinguishes between a philosophical and theological Augustinianism in the Middle Ages: "Augustinismus" in Lexilcon fiir Thwlogie und Kirche I, 10921094 . Philosophical Augustinianism, with its distinctive metaphysics, epistemology and psychology, is not our primary concern here. Rather, we are concerned with a specifically theological Augustinianism. • Carl Stange, " Uber Luthers Beziehungen zur Theologie seines Ordens " in Neue lcirchliche Zeifachrift, 11 (1900), 574-585. 7 This argument was developed in a series of books and articles, the first of which was Luthers...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 117-127
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-15
Open Access
No
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