Alexander of Hales


On this episode of five minutes in Church history, we are talking about Alexander of Hales a medieval theologian. The first question is, where is hails will hails is in the West Midlands of England. The word itself means a Nook or a remote valley in this was a place that was a remote valley at the time of Alexander. The population of this sleepy little Berg was south of five hundred people. So now that we know where hails is who is Alexander. Well, he was born in eleven eighty five actually we're not quite exactly sure when he was born dates range from eleven eighty to eleven eighty six but we seem to settle on the date eleven eighty five. There is very little else known about his childhood we assume that his family was wealthy because he was sent off to the University of Paris to study in that was not something that everyone did. So we assume that his family had some means an off he went to Paris. His time at Paris. He held a number of church positions and titles but largely, he was a teacher at the University of Paris. He did become Franciscan monk in twelve thirty six and he would die in Paris in twelve, forty five. So. What did he do? Well, he was significant and bringing aristotle into the discussion of theology. Now, when we talk about this, we talk about all of the as that are involved and that is the first letter of the names of all of these people seems to begin with an a or there's no himself. Of course. Then there's arrows he was the Muslim scholar who translated aristotle from the Greek into Latin for all these medieval lists to be able to read study. There's Alberta's Magnus Albert the great another Great Faculty member at the University of Paris and he was the teacher of the final a a coyness. Thomas. Aquinas. Well, into that bunch of as we must throw Alexander he actually preceded Albertus magnus and he was the first to. The lectures and the theological lectures in particular around to aristotle and to use aristotle and his method, and even some of Aristotle's Tom's. As an aide and as a help to teach algae was Alexander of Hales that we see as the founder of the father of scholasticism and one of his published works was his own Suma Taylor. Of course, we talk about Thomas Acquaintances Suma but Alexander had one to his sumo was not finished at the time of his death and many others added to it in fact about seven years after he died. His book was still being added to one person said of Alexander's Suma that it was as heavy as a horse. Now, I'm sure there are some hyperbole there, but it was a massive tome. So we have his big book in his use of Aristotle but the other thing that makes him interesting is that he participated in these public university wide debates and he participated in famous one that spanned over three days. Now. Presumably, let's hope that they would take breaks from time to time. But this was a debate that spanned three days and anyone students. Faculty citizens of Paris could ask any question of the master and the master would have to feel it. And Alexander of Hales withstood three long days of this debate. That's how you earned the Latin title Doctor, Irre- FRAG analysis which we translate as the air refutable teacher. So he was unable to be refuted during those three days of debates. He also earned the title Doctor Doc two-room, which translated means the teacher of teachers. So this is Alexander of Hales that small village and mid western England and he made it all the way to the University of Paris as the Medieval, theologian? Alexander of Hales.

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