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Robert Baron

(c. 1596—1639) Church of Scotland minister and writer on theology


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Robert Baron was born in Kinnaird in Fife and died in Berwick in August 1639. He was one of the distinguished divines known as Aberdeen doctors. Of the family of Kinnaird, he attended St Andrews Grammar School under Henry Danskin, before studying at St Andrews University, where he graduated in 1613. During the visit to St Andrews of King James in 1617, he impressed the king with his skill in disputation. His first book, Positiones et disputationes aliquot philosophicae (1621), consists of theses by his pupils when he was arts regent in St Salvator's College at St Andrews. The same year saw the first edition of his Philosophia theologiae ancillans. In this work, dedicated to Archbishop Spottiswood of St Andrews, he claims that scholastic Latin, though clear, is barbarous, and writes instead in the style of Cicero. He quotes widely from the medieval and Renaissance scholastics, from Alexander of Hales to contemporary Jesuits. One of his favourite Calvinist theologians was Daniel Tilenus, under suspicion after the Synod of Dort. The work contrasts some modern Jesuit divines with their medieval and pre-Tridentine predecessors, whom he finds more orthodox. In the 1649 Amsterdam edition he cites Mair, Ockham and the Scotist Lichetus.

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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