The ‘Controversialist’

John J. O’Meara

in Eriugena

Published in print May 1988 | ISBN: 9780198266747
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683084 | DOI:
The ‘Controversialist’

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Hincmar archbishop of Reims, in his De praedestinatione, written in 859–60, gives a list of doctrinal points that gave rise to controversy in the Frankish realms in his day — that predestination was not only to heaven, but also to hell; that one could speak of the triple Deity; that the eucharist was not the true body and blood of the Saviour, but only a memorial; that the angelic nature was corporeal; that the hunlan soul was not in the body; that hell was no more than the torturing memory of sins committed; that the saved could see the divine essence with the eyes of the body. Hincmar omits from his list the question of the virgin birth. Because Hincmar gives his list immediately after citing the views of Eriugena, some authors jumped to the conclusion that Eriugena was involved in all of them. However, Eriugena was not the only one mentioned (so was Prudentius of Troyes), but it is clear that Hincmar was thinking mainly of Ratramnus and Gottschalk. M. Cappuyns was of the opinion that Eriugena was involved in the controversy on predestination only, which includes the question of hell. This chapter focuses on the controversy and affords sufficient example of Eriugena’s performance as a controversialist.

Keywords: Johannes Scottus Eriugena; controversy; predestination; hell; Hincmar; M. Cappuyns

Chapter.  8092 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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