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‘Franciscan Augustinianism’: Musings about Labels and Late Medieval School Formation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents the reader with a first tentative approach towards one of the more enduring labels attached to Franciscan scholastic theology, namely its 'Augustinian' character. In the process, the chapter finds a form of exposition and a level of interaction with the issues at hand that are neither completely inadequate to their complexity nor overly hermetic and discouraging to those who have not made scholastic philosophy and theology the focus of their academic life. Theological traditions in the Latin West privileged the patristic authority of Augustine. This privilege solidified in twelfth-century collections of patristic doctrinal statements or 'sentences' for use in scholastic teaching. During the 1990s, Putallaz proposed a far more careful historical analysis of Franciscan thought in the generation before Scotus, showing that a very complicated philosophico-theological reality lay hidden under the labels of Augustinianism and neo-Augustinianism.

Keywords: Franciscan Augustinianism; labels; scholastic philosophy; theological traditions



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