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Title: The Reception of Aristotle in the Augustinian Context of Seventeenth-century Louvain (Cornelius Jansenius and Libertus Fromondus on Grace and Free Will)
Other Titles: The Reception of Aristotle in the Augustinian Context of Seventeenth-century Louvain (Cornelius Jansenius and Libertus Fromondus on Grace and Free Will)
Authors: Stanciu, Diana
Issue Date: 29-Oct-2012
Abstract: The basic assumption of this project is that some of Aristotle’s views a re present in the work of both Cornelius Jansenius and Libertus Fromondu s in spite of the Augustinian context of their work or rather in close a nd complex relationship to it. Jansenius’s Augustinus (1640) and Fromond us’ Brevis anatomia hominis (1641) are particularly studied here in orde r to show that Aristotle’s ideas had a bearing especially on particular concepts such as habitual grace, contingency or sufficient/efficient gra ce in Jansenius and Fromondus. Moreover, it is explained that Aristotle is present in these scholars’ works through scholastic authors such as A quinas and Scotus often quoted by both Jansenius and Fromondus. Furtherm ore, the reception of Aristotle in Jansenius and Fromondus is presented as multi-layered, depending also on numerous other theologians/philosoph ers such as Luis de Molina, Francisco Suárez or Leonardus Lessius, whom Jansenius and Fromondus criticised for their ‘Aristotelian’ views on gra ce. It is actually against these Jesuit scholars that both Jansenius and Fromondus often discuss Augustine’s views on grace and the salvation of the soul. The Jesuits are polemically identified both as allegedly Aris totelian and as allegedly Pelagian and criticised by both Jansenius and Fromondus for ‘corrupting’ Augustine’s views on grace due to their Arist otelian views on virtue, which determine them to assert pure nature and free will against the necessity and irresistibility of grace. It seems, thus, that Aristotle’s and Augustine’s reception were tightly interconnected when grace and free will were at issue in the seventeenth -century Louvain. The fact that both the Aristotelian treatises on Logic and the Methapysics, the Physics and the Nicomachean Ethics were quoted and discussed by both Jansenius and Fromondus proves that Aristotle’s w ork was well known and studied in depth even if often criticised due to its interference with Augustine’s views on grace. The fact that both Jan senius and Fromondus, who wrote his book in support of Jansenius, quote almost the same works and passages in almost the same contexts and refer ring to the same issues may prove indeed that Aristotle was important in this Augustinian context of the seventeenth-century Louvain. It may als o prove that Fromondus was inspired by Jansenius’ ideas and work. The po lemic accents in Jansenius’ Augustinus against the ‘Aristotelian’ and ‘P elagian’ Jesuits are indeed still present in Fromondus’ Brevis anatomia hominis. However, the thorough knowledge of Aristotle that Fromondus dis plays and his attempt to offer a synthesis of Augustine’s and Aristotle’ s views qualifies such a supposition to a certain extent.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Research Unit History of Church and Theology
De Wulf-Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
LECTIO - Leuven Centre for the Study of the Transmission of Texts and Ideas in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

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