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‘Better to Let Scandal Arise than to Relinquish the Truth’: The Cases of Conscience of the Masters of Paris in the Thirteenth Century.

Corran, Emily; (2020) ‘Better to Let Scandal Arise than to Relinquish the Truth’: The Cases of Conscience of the Masters of Paris in the Thirteenth Century. In: Fitzpatrick, Antonia and Sabapathy, John, (eds.) Individuals and Institutions in Medieval Scholasticism. (pp. 217-234). University of London: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This volume addresses the ways in which institutions ‘did or did not constrain, enable and inflect the substantive thinking of individuals’ (see the introduction to this volume, p. 25). A number of the chapters explore this theme by identifying ways in which scholastic authors developed their own position within the boundaries imposed by institutional loyalties. Fitzpatrick’s and Linde’s chapters in this volume, for example, show how, at the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, scholastic debate simultaneously pushed forward intellectual arguments and defined the parameters of disputes between Dominicans, Franciscans and the secular clergy. In contrast, quodlibets dealing with cases of conscience, the subject of this chapter, are something of an exceptional case in scholastic thought: moral quodlibets usually did not correspond directly to the syllabus organized around commentaries on the Sentences and they addressed questions which were not in the strictest sense theological, but which related to pastoral care. This chapter argues that responses to moral quodlibets should be understood neither as personal responses to a controversy, nor as attempts to carve out a position in a debate between rival ‘schools’. Rather, they are best explained as interventions within a separate genre of penitential thought and have a close relationship with manuals for confessors. In penitential manuals, the imperative on the author was less to devise appropriate responses to open questions and more to offer practical advice on how one should act. This was no less true of the moral quodlibets answered by theology masters. When masters gave responses within this genre, they found themselves constrained and enabled by institutions, but in a rather different way from when they answered questions in other kinds of theology.

Type: Book chapter
Title: ‘Better to Let Scandal Arise than to Relinquish the Truth’: The Cases of Conscience of the Masters of Paris in the Thirteenth Century.
ISBN-13: 978-1-912702-30-5
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14296/520.9781912702305
Publisher version: https://humanities-digital-library.org/index.php/h...
Language: English
Additional information: This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10144075
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