… per virtutem divinam assistentem. Scotus and Durandus on the impassibility of the glorified bodies. Aristotelian philosophy revisited?

Thomas Jeschke (Köln)1

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In studies on medieval philosophy treatises of eschatology remain almost unnoticed. That seems at first sight quite understandable, since they stem from an explicit theological context. If one looks closer, however, one might detect that in these treatises – I am above all referring to distinctions 43-50 of 13th- and 14th-century Sentences Commentaries– a lot of philosophically interesting material is provided.

Modern scholarship used these treatises especially to detect a common dilemma of 13th/14th century theology, namely the opposition of Christian doctrine to Aristotelian natural philosophy.2 Indeed, certain dogmas regarding the future state of the world3 and of our resurrected body seem to contradict what Aristotle states in physics. A crucial issue, here, is the problem to what extent the separated soul can be afflicted in hell.4 Per definitionem, the separated soul is immaterial, whereas the fire in hell is generally assumed as a material one. Christian authors, still, claim that before the Final Judgment, the fire in hell afflicts the separated soul. So, one might ask how this assumption is consistent with Aristotelian physics, since Aristotle denies that immaterial entities can be influenced by material entities. Pasquale Porro speaks in that context of a “double reversal” (doppio rovesciamento) of Christian eschatology regarding Aristotelian physics.5 Porro refers not only to the aforementioned passibility of the separated soul but also to another Christian belief, namely that the material body becomes impassible after the Final Judgment. Furthermore, Porro hints at two other characteristics of Christian eschatology, namely (1) its difference from Islamic Arabic philosophy, and (2) its disregard of the context.6 (1) Whereas Islamic Arabic philosophy interpreted the fire in hell metaphorically, the Latin-scholastic tradition preferred a ‘real’ interpretation. (2) Still, the Latin tradition tried to apply Aristotelian methods, even if the context was completely different from the context in which Aristotle utters his views. The discourse on a separated soul makes that very clear: in Aristotelian terms, it is nonsense to speak of a separated soul, since the soul does only exist as a part of a composite. When the composite ceases, its constitutive parts, matter and form, i.e. body and soul, cease as well.7 But even the Christian view holds that the separated soul exists in an unnatural state.8 However, even given these different contexts, many Christian authors, esp. in the 13th and 14th century tried to stick with Aristotle.

In this paper, I would like to give a short account on the second reversal mentioned by Porro, namely the thesis that the resurrected body of the blessed will be impassible. More precisely, I will investigate into a specific theologian’s view to that problem, namely Durandus of St. Pourçain’s, whose position has been criticised by several of his fellow Dominicans. Yet, I will concentrate on Durandus’ position, the historical-philosophical context, and his sources, leaving aside the debates about Durandus’ position in the decades after the publication of his Commentary.

  1. The impassibility of the glorified body: Historical Context

As said before, Christian eschatology challenges natural philosophy, especially in Aristotelian terms. The theory of the dowries (dotes) of the soul and the body, which are – in the canon of 13th century – vision (visio), love (dilectio), and understanding (comprehensio or tentio) on the one hand, and impassibility (impassibilitas), subtlety (subtilitas), agility (agilitas), and clarity (claritas) on the other, partly is such a challenge. The theory originates between 1190 and 1220, since in Praepositinus of Cremona and Stephen Langton, we find it in an early stage, whereas William of Auxerre gives a fully developed account of it.9Although Langton has the theory in an early stage with regard to the soul’s dowries, he already names the later on classical four dowries of the body. The conviction that there are four dowries of the body is a further development of Eadmer’s and Anselm’s thesis that there are seven gifts granted to the bodies of the blessed, namely beauty, swiftness, strength, liberty, impassibility, pleasure, and eternal life.10Schoolmen intended by clarity exactly the notion of beauty bestowed to the glorified bodies; by agility, they intended the bodies’ capacity to quickly and easily move, whereas earthly bodies were interpreted to move slowly because of gravity; by subtlety medieval theologians intended to describe the bodies’ constitution, which is prefigured in Christ’s resurrected body: He was able to pass closed doors (John 20,19.26). The notion of impassibility, finally, referred to two specifics of glorified bodies: first they are incorruptible. They share this feature with the bodies of the doomed, who, however, possess it not because of glory but as a punishment. Second, glorified bodies are guarded against all possible physical harm, such as diseases, whereas the souls of the doomed suffer from hell’s fire.11 In that perspective, the double reversal is intrinsically coherent: schoolmen had to explain on one hand, why doomed souls can be punished in hell, and simultaneously they had to declare the impassibility of the glorified bodies in heaven.

Porro has already clearly sketched the picture of the passibility of the separated soul at the end of 13th century. The greatest challenge was to interpret Gregory the Great’s implication that the fire is something material, which nevertheless acts upon the immaterial soul. Thomas Aquinas, e.g., escapes the dilemma by declaring that the soul suffers from fire insofar as fire deters the soul from any operation. So, the fire’s effect is not its proper one. It acts as a local impediment, not as fire per se.12 Thomas, therefore, remains more or less faithful to Gregory’s position, avoiding the mere metaphorical interpretation of fire, which was common in Islamic philosophy (referring back to Origen). Yet, he remains in some way even faithful to Aristotelian natural philosophy, since he denies the direct contact between material fire and immaterial soul. An interesting position is offered by Henry of Ghent. He turns the problem upside down: it is not the effect of the fire to be explained but the passion of the soul. Hence, Henry assumes that God impresses into the soul the capacity to suffer from the corporal fire.13 He opposes against Giles of Rome’s view, who traces the soul’s pain back to an intentional mutation (immutatio intentionalis), intending that a spiritual nature can be changed intentionally by a corporeal one.14 Scotus, by contrast, adopts Giles’ view of the intentional mutation.15

The parallel cases of the passion of the doomed souls and the impassibility of the glorified bodies call for parallel answers, it seems. We will see that Thomas, once again, has a special answer to the problem, which evades some problematic implications of the question. Henry, in turn, will solve the problem by assuming something positive in the bodies, influenced supernaturally. Scotus, finally, will reduce the divine influence to some assisting operation by God. But let us first see what Durandus says about the impassibility of the glorified bodies in his Sentences Commentary, for his account gives a good introduction to the problem.

  1. Durandus on the impassibility of the glorified bodies

Durandus investigates into the future impassibility of the glorified bodies in Book IV, d. 44, q. 4.16 This question is practically the same in all three redactions of his Sentences Commentary.17 Here, Durandus discusses the thesis that impassibility in the afterlife is due to a form existing in the glorified body. As has been said, there seems to be a conflict with Aristotelian physics assuming that material bodies – even if glorified ones – cannot be afflicted by corporeal powers. Therefore it was necessary for Durandus and his contemporaries to explain in what way the bodily impassibility is to be understood, and what was its cause respectively. One answer to it was to suggest that there was a form introduced in the body in order to make it resistible to any kind of (material) influence. To be more precise: Durandus generally asks whether the impassibility goes back to an external or to an internal form (§ 8). Durandus first characterises the cause of passibility in the strict sense as a passive principle (principium passivum) which is composed of matter and form. He refers to Aristotle’s definition of a passive potency as a principle of mutation from something different (principium transmutandi ab altero18). Because of the indifference to all forms, matter as such cannot be the principle of passion of something in the strict sense. The reason therefore lies in the kind of passion Durandus refers to here, namely the passion which is due to the privation of the convenient form and the introduction of an inconvenient form. Since matter refers indifferently to any form, we cannot assume any convenience or inconvenience there.

Thus, impassibility can be reduced to two modes and therefore two different causes. The first one is the impassibility in the strict sense which corresponds to the aforementioned consideration about passibility, namely the privation of such a passive principle. The second one is impassibility in a broader sense, which is due to an impediment of an effective passion. (1) With respect to the future impassibility of the resurrected bodies, Durandus expounds a first opinion which applies the first kind of impassibility to the glorified bodies. The impassibility according to that view occurs because these bodies will lack the active and passive qualities of the elements. The resurrected bodies will be mixed of elements which remain according to their substance, not according to their active and passive qualities. Thus, on the one hand, one could claim bodily identity through elements that are substantially identical, on the other hand, one could easily explain why these bodies will not be impassible, namely because there are no qualities to be altered. Durandus seems to copy this position from Aquinas,19 who cites it both in his De mixtione elementorum and in his Sentences Commentary. Whereas the De mixtione is generally concerned with elements being parts of a mixed compositum 20, the Sentences Commentary explicitly discusses the theory in the context of eschatology. Albert the Great associates it with the names of Aristotle and Averroes.21 Anyway, Durandus opposes against this view amongst others because the elementary qualities pertain to perfection accidentally and therefore will not be removed by grace. Consequently, Durandus denies impassibility in the strict sense in the afterlife and explains, instead, impassibility as an impediment which hinders any passion. But even here – and now we come to the core of the question – Durandus reports two opinions: (2a) the first one assumes an existing form (forma inexistens) which prevents the passion of the body, (2b) the second one suggests that the body of the blessed is guarded by divine power. The second one, which is to be ascribed to Durandus himself, will be criticised later on in both error lists. The only rational argument which Durandus gives for position (2a) is that the earthly body has to be changed into a glorified one. But change aims at a form. So, the glorified body has a form which renders it impassible (§ 13).

Durandus’s answer to the question, however, is different (§§ 14-15). He assumes divine assistance in order to render the glorified body impassible with respect to extraneous operations. The first argument Durandus gives in favour of his position states that, like the glorified bodies cannot be moved against their will because of divine assistance, they can neither be passible against their nature because of the same divine assistance. The second argument goes as follows. There is a correspondence between proper passibility and corruptibility and therefore between impassibility and incorruptibility, too. Since incorruptibility is not granted because of an inherent form, impassibility is neither because of an inherent form. In order to prove that incorruptibility is not due to an inherent form, Durandus recurs to the doomed. They do suffer passibility which therefore cannot be due to an inherent form. Likewise, their incorruptibility cannot be reduced to such a form, but has to be due to divine assistance. The third argument is a reference to Augustine’s Epistula ad Consentium.22 Thus, Durandus denies any intrinsic principle rendering the body impassible and exclusively assumes an extrinsic principle, namely God’s power, guarding the body against any harm.

  1. Some of Durandus’ predecessors

As mentioned above, Durandus is not the first theologian to discuss impassibility as one of the four dowries of the body. A classical formulation of the second half of 13th century is found, e.g., in Albert the Great’s De resurrectione. Here, Albert sums up the general features of dos impassibilitatis, without however going into detail. For our purpose, Albert’s thesis is interesting to characterise dos impassibilitatis more precisely. It is, says Albert, a dowry of the body in particular, by which the body resists any intrinsic or extrinsic damage (resistit corpus omni laesivo extrinsecus et intrinsecus).23 (1) The dowry, moreover, consists in the privation of the potency and of the act to suffer. (2) It is the power to resist intrinsic and extrinsic damages. (3) Impassibility is not identical with immortality, for immortality does not remove the potency to be weakened (potentia infirmandi). Even the bodies of the doomed are immortal, nevertheless they suffer corporally. (4) Whereas impassibility is a gift to the body, the soul is naturally impassible – except accidentally, that is to say insofar as the soul is in sin. In his Sentences Commentary, Albert gives a reason for the impassibility of the bodies. It is a certain habitus which alters the mixture of elements in the body and which makes it thus resistible to damage from in- and outside.24

Albert’s pupil Thomas Aquinas discusses the problem of dos impassibilitatis as well. Moreover, it seems as if he was the direct source for the positions Durandus mentions in his own account and it seems that Aquinas’ own position became the pivot for the following debates. After having reported and commented upon other positions, Aquinas gives his own view, namely that the body is so perfectly subjected to the soul that it cannot undergo any harm from external forms: The dominium of the soul outplays all alternative dominia.25 Since Aquinas discusses all positions in relation to the elements, some differ slightly from the ones Durandus mentions. The first position in Aquinas states that the elements in resurrection remain according to substance, but the active and passive qualities will be removed from these elements. That is exactly opinion (1) in Durandus. Thomas rejects this view because the elements in the resurrected body would be less perfect than the elements in the earthly body, since active and passive qualities pertain to the elements’ perfection. Moreover, according to Thomas, active and passive qualities are proper accidents (propria accidentia) of the elements and therefore necessarily come into being when their causes, matter and form, will be united. Durandus, more or less, goes with Aquinas’ view on that particular issue. The second position Aquinas refers to assumes, consequently, that the qualities remain in the elements, yet do not act properly. But this view is also opposed by Aquinas who thinks that the operation of active and passive qualities is necessary for the mixture of complex entities, such as the resurrected body. Both positions recall Albert’s solution, which traces the impassibility back to the element’s mixture, yet is not identical with what Aquinas refers to here. Then, Aquinas turns to a third position which explicitly suggests a disposition to be added to the resurrected body. This disposition is meant to hinder any passion of the glorified body. It is the nature of the fifth body, namely ether, which renders the glorified body similar to the impassible celestial bodies.26 However, according to Thomas, the fifth body does not materially contribute to the composition of a human being.27 Moreover, the natural power of a celestial body, such as the fifth body, cannot render the glorified body impassible. Thomas, therefore, concludes that the only cause of the glorified body’s impassibility lies in the fact that the body is so perfectly subjected to the soul as its agent that it is impassible with respect to all other possible agents.28 Moreover, it is the overabundance of the soul’s glory which flows into the body and imparts impassibility.29

If one compares Durandus’ and Thomas Aquinas’ answers, one sees the agreements and disagreements. Both argue against the theory of an inherent form. Thomas, however, explains it with the body’s perfect subjection to the soul and hence states an ‘inner’ principle as cause of the impassibility. Durandus, on the contrary, assumes an ‘outer’ principle, namely divine assistance, as the final cause of impassibility in glorified bodies. That does not mean that Thomas denies that such an impassibility is due to grace,30 although he seems to be convinced that, given such a perfect subjection, the impassibility is conserved by itself, whereas Durandus seems to suggest that the impassibility is a continuous operation by God. Thomas’ explanation remains somewhat vague in the sense that his position allows for interpretation by his Thomist followers as well shall see in a moment. He speaks of impassibility in terms of dominium and liberty. In Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 2, a. 1, qc. 1 ad 2, he says, e.g., that the same potency to other forms remains like before in the glorified bodies, yet then it will be bound through the victory of the soul over the body (ligata per victoriam animae supra corpus).

Anyway, Durandus’ censors in the first and second error list, criticise precisely his assumption that the impassibility is due solely to divine assistance.31 The censors therefore seem to interpret Thomas’ position of the perfect subjection exactly as such an inherent disposition or form. Indeed, John of Naples in his Quodlibet VIII, q. 22 speaks of an inherent form which imparts impassibility. After having cited Durandus’ three arguments for the theory of divine assistance,32 he continues exposing the contrary view. His first argument refers to impassibility as a supernatural perfection. Here, he states that a natural perfection of the body is not something which comes from outside but from the soul itself. All the more, a supernatural perfection has to be something which comes from the glorified soul, yet resides in the glorified body.33 Thus, John of Naples tries to combine both aspects, namely the inherent disposition as immediate cause of impassibility and the glorified soul as its remote cause. Peter of Palude, the second censor of Durandus’ Commentary, assumes in his own Sentences Commentary, although rather hesitantly, something positive in the soul (aliquid positivum ex parte animae) as the cause of bodily impassibility.34

One of Thomas’ early defenders, namely Peter of Tarantaise, gives a rather short account on that specific issue. This is quite comprehensible, since his Sentences Commentary is dated very early, possibly to the years 1256-1258 or 1257-1259 respectively – almost contemporaneous to Aquinas’ Commentary. Yet, it shows that Peter was aware of the problematic impact of the question and maybe he could even foresee the debates which were to take place. More surprisingly Thomas Aquinas’ defender William Peter of Godino in his Lectura Thomasina overlooked completely that Aquinas’ position had been contested. The reason therefore lies in the fact that William only copies his answer verbatim from Peter of Tarantaise’s Sentences Commentary. Both, Peter and William, hence refer only to the theory of the fifth body and reject it with the well-known argument that the fifth element is not part of the inferior bodies. They briefly state that impassibility results from the predominating soul over the body.35

Around 1295, Richard of Mediavilla comments the Sentences. He is, however, not so much interested in the very details of impassibility. He argues that the source of all dotes lies in the perfect subjection under the soul, which itself is subjected completely to God. So far, Richard’s position coincides with Aquinas’ position. He specifies, however, that the subjection under the soul as form causes dos impassibilitatis, whereas the subjection under the soul as motor causes dos subtilitatis.

Some of Aquinas’ critics

By his contesters Aquinas’ position was immediately understood as denying any inherent disposition. Thus, John Peckham in his Quaestiones de beatitudine corporis et animae, q. 13 (ca. 1277-79), criticises Aquinas’ view. He favours instead such a disposing quality in the bodies. Interestingly, Peckham exposes a fourfold cause of the impassibility – according to the four Aristotelian causes.36 (1) The efficient cause is God or, more precisely, the beatific vision as the perfection of incorruption. (2) The material cause lies in the fact that the struggle between opposing elements in the body will cease, since the complementing forms will be added and the elements’ appetite therefore will be stilled. (3) The formal cause consists in the disposition of the body to receive the soul’s immortality. This disposition has to be a certain quality according to Peckham. Peckham’s argument points to a certain correspondence between the bodies of the doomed and the bodies of the blessed. The bodies of the doomed are incorruptible, yet their souls are miserable. So, their incorruptibility cannot stem from their souls but rather from an inherent quality in their bodies. Likewise, the glorified bodies can only be impassible because of such a quality and not because of the soul’s dominium alone. (4) The final cause is the satiation of the rational soul’s appetite.

Aquinas’ account is also criticised by Henry of Ghent in his Quodlibet IX, q. 16 (Easter 1286). Henry himself defends opinion (2a) of Durandus’, namely the theory that an inherent form prevents the resurrected body from any passion,37 and may well be the target of Durandus’ criticism. Henry starts – like Durandus – with the double passibility, i.e. as the lack of something convenient and as the addition of something imperfect. He, then, exposes a threefold kind of immortality or incorruptibility as the effect of such impassibility. With respect to the third one, namely the immortality, owing to which man cannot die anymore, neither through an intrinsic nor through an extrinsic cause, Henry analyses its cause. He denies God’s will as sole cause as well as natural principles, as in angels. In that context, he also discusses the thesis that the cause consists in the removal of the operations which active and passive natural qualities have. Here, Henry criticises the view that such impassibility would be due to a privative cause and not through a positive disposition which would mean to interpret the concept of dos impassibilitatis negatively. Finally, he specifies the cause of impassibility as something positive, which is in the mixed and which prevents the mixed from being acted upon either by an intrinsic or by an extrinsic agent.38 Moreover, it has to be something supernatural.39

Henry, then, comes to Aquinas’ position which he seems to interpret as we have read him when exposing Aquinas’ view, and not as Aquinas’ defenders seem to have read him. For he says that according to Aquinas the disposition causing impassibility is identical with the soul’s glory. Insofar as the body is subjected to the soul in a perfect manner, it is impassible with respect to any other agent. Henry, however, opposes this view, since he believes that the bodily impassibility has to reside in the body itself, not in something outside the body, be it as dominant as the soul. The body has to be ex se impassible. For, theoretically, it is not excluded that the body will be dominated by a quality if the soul’s dominium is weakened and this quality prevails. Henry’s criticism is due to his metaphysical standpoint with regard to man’s hylomorphic composition. Unlike Aquinas (and Durandus), Henry assumes a certain body form which predisposes the body as matter in order to receive its proper form, i.e. the soul. In Aquinas’ view, where the soul is the unique substantial form, the binding between soul and body is as strong as possible. In Henry’s view, it is not. And, indeed, in Quodlibet IX, q. 16 he explicitly mentions that context. It is the corporeal form which is distinct from the form ‘soul’ and which renders the earthly body passible and corruptible; hence there has to be another form or positive disposition, once again distinct from the form ‘soul’, which renders the glorified body similarly impassible. Henry also explains how this functions. The root of any passibility lies – according to Henry – in the privatio we have to assume in any matter. Privation is the co-principle of matter and form, for it enables generation. In every subject which undergoes a change, we have to assume the privation of the future form. The disposition resulting from the union of glorified soul and earthly body(!) removes exactly that negative disposition, namely privation, by which matter/body is not suited anymore to other forms, and which makes the matter/body impassible. Although Henry explicitly rejects Aquinas’ position and argues for an inherent form, one might actually question whether his solution, i.e. the removal of privation, is in fact such a positive disposition. This criticism will be picked up by Thomas Sutton later on.

In q. 4 of his Quaestiones disputatae de resurrectione mortuorum, the Augustinian hermit Giles of Rome gives three reasons for the corruptibility of the bodies and consequently three reasons for their future incorruptibility. Giles traces its corruptibility back to (1) the nature of contrariness (generation and corruption are movements from contrary to contrary); (2) the second feature of corruptibility lies in the principle of privation, which directs the process of generation and corruption;40 (3) Giles names the incomplete dominium of the form over matter as a third cause of corruptibility.41 Accordingly, Giles states a threefold incorruptibility in the blessed, yet a twofold in the doomed. (3) Whereas celestial bodies are incorruptible because they naturally lack such contrariness, the bodies of the blessed are incorruptible by grace and by the dominium of the form over matter, which will be complete in the afterlife. That is a solution quite similar to Aquinas’s. (2) However, Giles adds another reason, which will later on be criticised, e.g., by Henry of Ghent and Scotus. It is the cessation of the heaven’s movement which stops generation and corruption in the supra celestial sphere, too. The motus caeli is said to be the first and foremost cause for all supra celestial change.42 Once it ceases, all other movements will stand still as well. (1) Finally, the nature of contrariness will be removed from the glorified bodies. There won’t be any contrary forms with regard to matter which could follow one another and therefore make things change, but it is the only form soul which dominates matter, that is to say the body.43 Giles adds that the doomed are incorruptible in a twofold way. First, it is the cessation of the heaven which removes their corruptive agents in the body. Second, contrariness will be removed from their bodies. Therefore, their bodies differ from the glorified bodies by their lack of complete dominium of the soul.

Some defenders of Thomas Aquinas’ position

As early as Aquinas’ theology had been contested it had been defended as well. Although impassibility of the glorified bodies does not play any role in the Correctoria struggle, some of the Dominicans taking part in that ‘combat’ vindicate Thomas as well in that particular issue. Against Henry’s view, e.g., opposes Thomas Sutton in his Quodlibet IV, q. 17 (ca. 1287). Thomas Sutton shows once more the clear intention to plead Aquinas. Moreover, he blames Henry for distorting Aquinas’ position. He refers to Henry saying that dos impassibilitatis44 is nothing else than the glory of the soul, intending that dos is nothing positive in the soul. Then, Thomas Sutton reports Henry’s explanation for impassibility, namely the removal of the negative disposition of privation. He concedes that dos impassibilitatis is a disposition or quality. Yet, Thomas lists several arguments by which he opposes Henry’s own arguments point by point. Moreover, in the following, Thomas Sutton exposes Aquinas’ theory.45 It is neither a privation which will be removed in the glorified bodies nor a passive potency. All the more, the passive potency remains, yet it will be bound (ligata) so that the body will have no act of passion (actus patiendi) anymore. The reason is, once again, the perfect dominium of the soul over the body. Thomas Sutton characterises that kind of being bound as follows. Like the glorified soul, or better its will is subjected to God in that way that it is determined or bound to will exclusively the good, the body is subjected to the glorified soul in the way that it is bound not to suffer any harm.46 Yet, one might oppose that there is no disposition involved there, for dominium does not necessarily entail an inherent quality. But Thomas Sutton, immediately, adds that the ligation (ligatio) of the body is due to such a disposition. And here, he is forced to make a subtle distinction, in order to side with Aquinas’ view. Sutton specifies that the ligation is due to a disposition, namely dos impassibilitatis, which is dispositive inherent in the body. It is in the body determinative through dominium of the soul, perfectly subjected to God. So, in Sutton’s terms, Aquinas’ seems to speak first and foremost of the second ligation, the ligation determinative. Yet, we have to assume – Sutton suggests – that Aquinas presupposes a ligation dispositive, which is dos impassibilitatis in the strict sense.

John of Sterngassen, also a Dominican, goes with Aquinas as well.47 In his Sentences Commentary, he mentions the position that impassibility is due to the removal of the active and passive qualities in the bodies, and answers with Aquinas that these qualities cannot be removed for they are proper accidents. He refers to the thesis that the operations of these qualities will be suspended. John, here, uses likewise the term of ligation, which causes impassibility.48 The third position is the one referring to the fifth element. John answers with Aquinas by stating that the fifth body is no part of the human composite. Finally, he adopts Aquinas’ position, claiming that the perfect dominium of the soul is the cause of the bodily impassibility of the blessed. The strength of the soul – then subjected completely to God – wins over any other opposing form, which could possibly alter matter and therefore make the body suffer.49

The Dominican John of Paris discusses the dotes corporis, and consequently the impassibility of the glorified bodies, in his Sentences Commentary. He adopts Thomas Aquinas’ view, that is to say the thesis that the body is completely subjected to the soul, reading Aquinas, however, in the ‘Thomistic’ version, namely assuming dos impassibilitatis as a disposition existing in the bodies.50 impassibilia per dispositionem existentem in eis.”] John discusses the positions reported by Thomas, namely (1) that the elements remain only according to their substance, and (2) that they remain but will be despoiled from their activities. He mentions (3) the theory of the fifth body, too. He partly adopts Aquinas’ solutions as well: (1) The first solution coincides with Aquinas’: the elements’ qualities pertain to their natural perfection. (2) The second solution, however, differs from Aquinas who stated that the operation of active and passive qualities was necessary for the mixture of the resurrected body as a complex entity. John, unlike Aquinas, refers to the dispositional character of dos impassibilitatis: If the second solution were true, there would be no such inherent disposition in the glorified bodies. (3) The third solution is similar to Aquinas’, who denied a material contribution of the fifth body to the composition of a human being: John says that the fifth body is not essentially but only virtually in the mixture of the body.

Duns Scotus’ view on dos impassibilitatis

It is, however, John Duns Scotus’ position which Durandus adopts, although his arguments differ from Scotus’ arguments. Eventually, it seems to be a general feature of Durandus’ Commentary, that he cites only the core of a contemporary position developing his own argumentation in favour of this position, be it a view he holds himself, be it a position which he criticises. In the particular case, Durandus goes with Scotus’ opinion who believes that impassibility of the body is due to God’s will and therefore to an extrinsic cause. In his own Sentences Commentary, d. 49, q. 13, Scotus discusses precisely the question whether the blessed’s body will be impassible (Utrum corpus hominis beati post resurrectionem erit impassibile).51 At the beginning of his answer, Scotus discusses, first, divergent positions with regard to that question, which are already known to us. Scotus, e.g. rejects the theory that the qualities in a mixed body do not remain in the body. Moreover, he rejects any intrinsic principle in the subject, that is to say in the body, to be the cause of such impassibility. The first position Scotus mentions is the one we know from Thomas Aquinas: the body is completely subjected to the soul. This position, however, is not only Aquinas’ position but a common position at his time.52 Even Bonaventure seems to have a similar view on that matter, for he distinguishes between a glorification of the bodies according to disposition (quantum ad dispositionem) and according to perfection (quantum ad consummationem). With respect to the first, the glorification consists in the absolute qualities which are given to the body by God. With respect to the latter, glorification stems from the glorified soul, through which all dotes flow into the body.53 More precisely, Bonaventure assumes a fourfold operation of the elements in the body: the first two of them, namely the operations of constituting and conserving, remain in the glorified body, the second two, ordered at the dissolution of the body, will not remain. Scotus, then, rejects this view, since he believes that the soul cannot defy its inherent qualities.

The second position, referred to by Scotus, recalls Henry’s position and briefly states that dos is identical with a quality which prohibits corruption. Scotus argues against it that the quality is surely nothing glorified, so it has to be either elementary or mixed. In both cases, however, such a quality would not prevent every single action or passion.

The third position, mentioned by Scotus, could be ascribed to Giles of Rome. It says that there is no mutation and hence no passion anymore once the heaven ceases to move.54 Henry of Ghent and others (e.g. Peter Auriol55) argued against Giles’ position, yet Scotus hints immediately at article 156 of the Condemnations of 1277.56 He, then, argues that by divine power, generation is possible even without movement, so that the ceasing of the glorified movement is no argument for the impassibility of the glorified bodies.

Scotus’ own position assumes that divine will, and therefore something extrinsic, is the cause of bodily impassibility. However, God’s ‘action’ is reduced to the fact that God does not co-act with the second causes, which ‘normally’ would cause corruption in the bodies. In that perspective, Scotus’ view differs from Durandus’. Durandus believes that God does assist the bodies – or better: he would not explain the kind of God’s assistance; Scotus, in contrast, believes that God does not assist the second causes in their decomposing operations. Both, however, agree in assuming God as the proper cause of impassibility. Scotus characterises dos impassibilitatis more precisely as a legal title (ius), by which divine custody can be claimed. Unlike all of the abovementioned theologians, Scotus and Durandus reduce dos impassibilitatis to a mere extrinsic cause. Scotus explicitly rejects the objection that dos impassibilitatis must be something inherent by referring to the original meaning of the word dos, namely as dos sponsae, that is to say as the marriage portion, which also does not inhere in the bride but is at her disposal.

  1. Durandus and the anonymous Sentences Commentary in MSS Vat. lat. 985 and 1118

Though Durandus takes over Scotus’ view to the problem and discusses positions referred to in Aquinas, his direct source seems to be the Sentences Commentary of a contemporary anonymous author. I am referring to the Commentary to Book IV of the Sentences which is found in MSS Vat. lat. 985 and Vat. lat. 1118. Modern scholarship assigned that Commentary to the school of James of Metz and characterised it as a main source for Durandus’ Book IV.57 Moreover, it is to be dated at around 1305, that is to say after James of Metz’ second version of his Commentary and after Hervé Nedeillec’s Correctorium fratris Jacobi and before Durandus’ first version of his Sentences Commentary.58 The anonymous author starts his investigation with the common distinction between a double passion, namely a broader and a proper concept of passio. Unlike Durandus, the anonymous author does not speak of the reception of a form in general and the reception of an inconvenient or the loss of a convenient form in particular as passion. He defines instead passion in the broad sense of the word as any reception whatsoever, in the more specific sense, he calls passion the immoderate movement of the heart as opposed to the moderate movement of its operations.59 The author, here, adopts Thomas Aquinas’ distinction in his Sentences Commentary, Book IV, d. 44, q. 2, a. 1, qc. 1, resp. In article 2, the anonymous author discusses the divergent opinions on the cause of bodily impassibility. In his account as well as in his answers, he is also strongly relying on Aquinas’ elaboration. He firstly mentions the quidam who state a change in the condition of the bodily elements, namely the removal of their active and passive qualities. This opinion is rejected by (1) referring to elementary qualities as accidentally perfecting the mixtum, and by (2) turning the argument upside down: the unity of the body would exactly be destroyed if elements remained according to their substance. (3) Then, the anonymous author declares that qualities are to be assumed for the complexity which every human nature necessarily has.60 After that, the author turns to the position of the fifth body. Whereas his abstract of the position coincides with Aquinas’ report, his answer is a more detailed version of Aquinas’ answer. The core element of both rejections still lies in the fact that the fifth element does not pertain to the composition of a natural entity.

Finally, the anonymous author mentions two other positions, which we identify as Aquinas’ own position and the position of Scotus. However, it seems as if the anonymous author has in mind the slightly divergent ‘Thomistic’ position of Aquinas, for he states that dos impassibilitatis is identical with a certain form (illam formam) which is absolute and positive and which flows from the soul into the body so that the body is perfectly subjected to the soul.61 Yet, as we have seen above, in Aquinas it is the substantial form ‘soul’ itself, which – because of its glorified status – is able to dominate the body by overcoming any possible other forms. In the anonymous author’s account, the form ‘soul’ seems to differ from another absolute form assigned to the body. That is, indeed, the interpretation some (or all?) of Aquinas’ followers give with respect to that particular issue. Maybe the position, the anonymous author here refers to is not meant to be Aquinas’ but is reported in order to set against it the following one. The first position assumes an inhering disposition in the body, the second one denies it. This latter position recalls Scotus’ position, namely that dos impassibilitatis consists solely in divine power or providence assisting the blessed, yet the arguments given here differ from Scotus’ ones. The first one says that no positive form is to be posited because of a privative act, such as being impassible. The second one refers to the state of innocence in which no inherent form caused the impassibility but only divine assistance. This assistance, moreover, is described not as a supernatural power in the assisted but as the restriction of nature in its excessive effects.62

Interestingly, both Durandus and the anonymous author do not declare openly which position they tend to. Durandus, however, had been accused of holding Scotus’ position in the error lists, and it seems that his account suggests a certain appropriation of Scotus’ thesis, whereas the anonymous text is vaguer on that matter.63 Beside some copying verbatim and a certain parallel structure both texts differ to a certain extent. That is especially curious with regard to the position which we assigned to Scotus, since both accounts – at least in their argumentation – differ not only from one another but even from Scotus’ argumentation itself. So, it remains unclear whether to hypothesise another source to which Durandus’ and the anonymous’ texts are to be traced back or whether to assume that both give a different interpretation of Scotus’ opinion. Maybe, both attended Scotus’ 1302-03 lectures in Paris and made different notes on his lectures. Nevertheless, we must assume a unilateral dependence between Durandus and the anonymous author, for there are too many literal adoptions between both commentaries. Modern scholarship argued for the priority of the anonymous Sentences Commentary. There are, however, signs that we have to rethink that dependency. In the particular case discussed here, it is quite surprising that Durandus adopts a view which is assigned by his possible source to alii. Could Durandus not be that theologian? There are several more similar cases in dd. 43-50 which we cannot discuss here. On the contrary, it may as well be true that Durandus adopts a position which his source develops without explicitly adhering to it. Anyway, one would have to weigh carefully all the arguments of modern scholarship in that particular matter and find many more cases in both commentaries in order to come to a better understanding of the relationship of both texts.

  1. After Durandus …

The discussion about the reason for impassibility of the glorified bodies did not come to an end with Durandus, although we finish our survey here. Immediately after Durandus, in 1316/17, e.g., Peter Auriol, investigates into the cause of such dos impassibilitatis and will hold a position similar to that of Durandus or Scotus. He will argue that impassibility is nothing else than divine maintenance (manutenentia divinae virtutis).64 Ca. 1325, Durandellus, on the contrary, will try to defend Aquinas’ position in the Thomist interpretation against Durandus. Durandellus’ argument is less rational than authoritative: If dos impassibilitatis were no disposition, it would be no dowry in the proper sense of the word, esp. as it was used by patristic authorities.65 In the 15th century, the Thomist John Capreolus will mention Durandus’ position and will reject it, in order to defend Aquinas’ position.66 In the same century, the Dominican bishop Antoninus Pierozzi or Florentinus,67 refers to two opinions in his Summa theologiae, p. III, tit. 30, c. 7,68 which coincide with the ones Durandus mentions in his overview. Actually, Pierozzi copies Durandus’ account from his direct source Peter of Palude. In 16th century, the Spanish Dominican Domingo de Soto discusses Scotus’ and Durandus’ theory as basically the same and rejects it holding that we have to assume beside the extrinsic cause ‘God’ an inherent intrinsic cause providing impassibility of the body. Domingo also knows Peter of Palude’s report.69 Yet, we leave these debates for another study.

  1. Conclusion

It has often been said that Durandus’ theology and philosophy is more Augustinian than Aristotelian.70 Only recently, Jean-Luc Solère made that, once again, very clear by investigating into Durandus’ cognitive theory.71 Durandus’ theory of the soul as a spontaneous faculty even in cognising things is closer to the Augustinian-Franciscan tradition than to the Aristotelian-Thomasian-Dominican tradition. Durandus, here, gets rid of some peculiar features of the latter tradition, e.g. agent intellect, species intelligibiles and even species sensibiles. This description, on the one hand, could be true as well in the actual case. Indeed, Durandus’ third argument for his own thesis was a reference to Augustine who states that the three boys in the Chaldean oven remain unharmed by divine assistance, meaning thereby that God removes the power to burn from the fire.72

On the other hand, it seems to be a kind of evasion, which both Scotus and Durandus favour. All solutions discussed here had to reconcile Christian premises with (Aristotelian) physics and all solutions had to refer to some supernatural disposition or action to make plausible that the glorified bodies will not suffer anymore. We observed mainly three different approaches. The first one is to state a change in the bodies themselves, e.g. by assuming a disposition or by intending an alteration in the bodily composition. It is the first of two opposing positions. We primarily think here of Henry’s position. The second approach is to presume a complete dominium of the body by the soul. This view, which is Aquinas’ position – yet not in its Thomistic interpretation –, can be characterised as a kind of middle position. The third approach lies in assuming solely divine help or assistance; this position is absolutely contrary to the first position and therefore the other of the two opposing positions. It is the position of Scotus, Durandus, and probably the anonymous author. Whereas both, the first and the second position, try to reconcile Christian metaphysics with Aristotelian (meta-)physics, the third position escapes that dilemma by exclusively tracing the cause back to divine power/will. Whereas Aquinas’ and Henry’s solutions assume a supernatural gift, yet in some way inhering in the body or at least intrinsic to the soul-body-union, Scotus and Durandus situate the supernatural gift completely outside the body or compositum and therefore beyond its (meta-)physical constituents. Thus, impassibility is an everlasting divine interference and hence something which eternally depends on God’s will. One might conclude that the conflict between Aristotelianism and Christian doctrine is avoided by referring to a certain kind of voluntarism, meaning a tendency in later medieval philosophy to explain certain interventions and operations by recurring to God’s divine will as their immediate cause.73 Maybe Scotus and Durandus adhere to voluntarism in that particular perspective.

Anyway, there is another interesting observation to make, which is connected with anthropology.  We see that there are two positions which are rather consistent in themselves, yet opposing one another. I am referring to Aquinas’ or the ‘Thomistic’ position and to Henry of Ghent’s ‘dimorphism’ 74 or or the ‘Franciscan’ position of a plurality of forms, held e.g. by Duns Scotus75. In Aquinas, the soul is unique form and sole (formal) cause for the composite including the shape of the body. Aquinas, consequently, puts the cause of impassibility in the perfect dominium of the soul. Henry, on the contrary, assumes a predisposing form for the body and consistently assumes a disposition in the body itself which renders it impassible. Both seem to interpret grace in that particular case as a perfection of nature. Aquinas, on the one hand, believes in the soul as winning over matter in generation/creation as well as in resurrection. Man’s final state is not something completely different to its state as a viator. All the more, its perfection lies in man just from the beginning – it lies in its nature, although nature cannot perfect it. Consequently, Aquinas assumes grace to perfect man. However, in Aquinas grace in that particular case consists in strengthening the soul and make it such a perfect form that even the body becomes perfect. Final bodily perfection is as much caused by the soul/form alone in resurrection as initial bodily perfection is caused by the created soul in the beginning of man’s earthly life. The same is quintessentially true for Henry. Bodily perfection in its natural state is due to another inherent form; therefore even final bodily perfection, namely the one due to grace, has to be caused by an inherent supernatural form disposing matter. What about Durandus and Scotus? Durandus, as has been said, is radical in assuming the soul as unique substantial form. Scotus, on the contrary, presupposes a plurality of forms and a forma corporeitatis. Yet, both hold the same thesis with respect to the impassibility of the glorified bodies, and nevertheless their different accounts remain consistent in themselves. The consistency results from their before mentioned ‘voluntaristic’ approach. If dos impassibilitatis is nothing inherent in the composite, the principles of composition are indifferent. God’s assistance applies to a body composed using a corporeal form as well as to a body which is shaped by being united to the soul alone. So, do Scotus’ and Durandus’ positions solely coincide in a certain evasion?

There is another common feature of Scotus’ and Durandus’ theology and philosophy which they share even with William of Ockham: as indicated before, all three try to get rid of unnecessary principles in theology and philosophy, such as agent intellect and species, lumen gloriae etc. The Aristotelian(!) principle76 which in its radical form is known as ‘Ockham’s razor’, namely that we must not assume more principles than necessary in order to explain something,77 is already strongly applied in Scotus and Durandus. In the given case, it seems as if it was applied here, too. Aquinas – at least in his ‘Thomistic’ interpretation – as well as Henry assumed another disposition posited in the body in order to explain the conservation of the body. Since even for that disposition, God’s will or grace is the remote cause, why not assume it as the immediate cause without referring to another secondary cause?

The principle of scarcity is strongly connected with a certain enhancement of the ‘singular’. In Scotus, Durandus, and Ockham, we notice e.g. the singular thing to be the immediate object of cognition. The direct access to something without recourse to mediating principles as species, agent intellect etc., displays a vigorous esteem of the individual. In that perspective, we may interpret the recourse to God’s divine will, immediately acting upon the body of glorified man, exactly as such an appreciation of individuality. God acts directly upon the singular human body and the singular human body is designed for God’s immediate action. Thus, Scotus’ and Durandus’ theories of the impassibility of the body are in another way Aristotelian than that of their predecessors or contemporaries, namely in adhering to the principle of scarcity in natural and supernatural explanations. All the more, their evasion is consistent, for they would not apply (Aristotelian) principles beyond the context in which they are to be applied: principles of natural physics go well in the earthly world, supernatural principles are not to be justified by recurring to natural principles but only by divine power or will. Or otherwise put: both Scotus and Durandus do not commit the second error of Christian theologians, as referred to by Porro, namely to disregard the context, yet they do go with the double reversal of Christian dogmatics.

  1. I would like to thank Pasquale Porro for his comments on an earlier draft of this paper.
  2. e.g. T. Gregory, “L’escatologia cristiana nell’aristotelismo latino del XIII secolo”, Ricerche di storia religiosa 1 (1954/57), pp. 108-119. On the reception of Aristotle’s natural philosophy in general, see e.g. C. Leijenhorst–C. Lüthy–J. Thijssen (eds), The Dynamics of Aristotelian Natural Philosophy from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century, Leiden-Boston-Köln 2002.
  3. Aristotle, e.g., claims the eternity of the world, whereas Christian authors believe that the world has a beginning and comes to an end with the Final Judgment; cf. T. Gregory, “Sull’escatologia di Bonaventura e Tommaso d’Aquino”, Studi medievali, serie terza 6/2 (1965), pp. 79-94, esp. p. 81.
  4. See e.g. K. Flasch, “Die Seele im Feuer. Aristotelische Seelenlehre und augustinisch-gregorianische Eschatologie bei Albert von Köln, Thomas von Aquino, Siger von Brabant und Dietrich von Freiberg”, in: Albertus Magnus und der Albertismus. Deutsche philosophische Kultur des Mittelalters, ed. by M.J.F.M. Hoenen–A. de Libera,Leiden–New York–Köln 1995, pp. 107-131.
  5. Porro, “Fisica aristotelica e escatologia cristiana: Il dolore dell’anima nel dibattito scolastico del XIII secolo”, in: Henosis kai philia. Unione e amicizia. Omaggio a Francesco Romano, a cura di M. Barbanti–G.R. Giardina–P. Manganaro, presentazione di E. Berti, Catania 2002, S. 617-642, 641.
  6. Porro, “Fisica aristotelica e escatologia cristiana”, pp. 640-1.
  7. Admittedly, the question in Aristotle is not that easy. Although one could claim that the soul as an entity of the natural physical world (psyche) is corruptible in Aristotle, there is something in the soul, namely the intellect (nous), which is not, which is all the more eternal. The intellect therefore remains after the decomposition of a human being, yet one would not identify it with the separated individual soul in Christian belief. The Platonic view – picking up ancient conceptions – that the souls migrate is also inconsistent with the individuality in Christian religion, notwithstanding some interesting parallelisms. e.g. G. Cottier, “La résurrection des corps – un problème philosophique?”, Nova et Vetera 78 (2003), pp. 9-27, esp. pp. 14-18 and p. 23.
  8. e.g. Thomas de Aquino, Summa contra gentiles, IV, 79, n. 10: “Est igitur contra naturam animae absque corpore esse”. See also C. Trottmann, “Sulla funzione dell’anima e del corpo nella beatitudine. Elementi di riflessione nella scolastica”, in Anima e corpo nella cultura medievale. Atti del V Convegno di studi della Società Italiana per lo Studio del Pensiero Medievale, Venezia, 25-28 settembre 1995, a cura di C. Casagrande–S. Vecchio, Florence 1999, pp. 139-155, pp. 144-5.
  9. N. Wicki, Die Lehre von der himmlischen Seligkeit in der mittelalterlichen Scholastik von Petrus Lombardus bis Thomas von Aquin, Freiburg/Schweiz 1954, pp. 202-37; H.J. Weber, Die Lehre von der Auferstehung der Toten in den Haupttraktaten der scholastischen Theologie. Von Alexander von Hales zu Duns Skotus, Freiburg–Basel–Vienna 1973, pp. 316-339.
  10. The Latin text has pulchritudo, velocitas, fortitudo, libertas, impassibilitas, voluptas, and vita aeterna; cf. Eadmerus Cantuariensis, Liber de beatitudine coelestis patriae, cc. 1-7, PL 159, cols 589-93; see also Anselmus Cantuariensis, Proslogion, c. 25, ed. S. Schmitt, p. 118; C.W. Bynum, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200-1336, New York 1995, pp. 131-2.
  11. There are, however, amongst others, attempts to explain the fourfold dowry recurring to the four elements or the four cardinal virtues; cf. H.J. Weber, Auferstehung der Toten, p. 320. For a general historical and systematic account on the state of the glorified body cf. A. Challet, “Corps glorieux”, in Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vol. 3,2,Paris 1938, cols 1879-1906.
  12. Porro, “Fisica aristotelica”, p. 624.
  13. Porro, “Fisica aristotelica”, p. 632.
  14. Porro, “Fisica aristotelica”, pp. 634-5.
  15. Iohannes Duns Scotus, Ordinatio, IV, d. 44, q. 3, (d) = Quaestiones in quartum librum Sententiarum, a distinctione quadragesima tertia usque ad quadragesimam octavam, Parisiis 1894 (Opera omnia, vol. 20), pp. 252b-254b; K. Flasch, “Die Seele im Feuer”, p. 125.
  16. See for Durandus’ position Durandus de S. Porciano, Scriptum super IV libros Sententiarum, Distinctiones 43-50 Libri Quarti, ed. Jeschke, Leuven–Paris 2012, pp. 93-109 (forthcoming).
  17. Elsewhere, I have argued that dd. 43-50 have not been redacted but twice, that is to say there is one first redaction (A) and solely a final redaction (C), yet no middle redaction (B). See “Einleitung”, in Durandus de S. Porciano, Scriptum super IV libros Sententiarum, pp. 13*-131*, esp. pp. 34*-59*.
  18. The formula stems from Auctoritates Aristotelis, 1, 220, ed. J. Hamesse, p. 133,87.
  19. See Thomas de Aquino, Super Sent., IV, 44, 2, 1, sol. 1; id., De mixtione elementorum, cura et studio Fratrum Praedicatorum, Rome 1976 (Opera omnia, Editio Leonina, vol. 43), p. 155,3-8.53-57.
  20. For the De mixtione elementorum cf. A. Maier, Die Struktur der materiellen Substanz, in An der Grenze von Scholastik und Naturwissenschaft, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, Rome 21952, pp. 3-140, La struttura della sostanza materiale, in Scienza e filosofia nel Medioevo. Saggi sui secoli XIII e XIV, prefaz. di M. Dal Pra, introd. e trad. di M. Parodi e A. Zoerle, Milan 1983, pp. 15-152.
  21. Albertus Magnus, Commentarii in IV Sententiarum. Dist. XXIII-L, d. 44, C, a. 14, resp., ed. S.C.A. Borgnet, Parisiis 1904 (Opera omnia, vol. 30), p. 565a-b; cf. Avicenna, Liber primus naturalium. Tractatus primus de causis et principiis naturalium, I, 6, Édition critique de la traduction latine médiévale par S. Van Riet, introduction doctrinale par G. Verbeke, Louvain-la-neuve–Leiden 1992, pp. 62,78-63,80; id., Liber de philosophia prima sive scientia divina, VIII, 2, ed. S. Van Riet, vol. 2, Leuven-Leiden 1980, pp. 382-393; Averroes, Commentum magnum super De caelo et mundo, III, com. 67, ed. J. Carmody(†)–R. Arnzen, Leuven 2003, pp. 631-6.
  22. Augustinus, Epistula 205, I, 4, ed. A. Goldbacher, Vienna–Leipzig 1911, pp. 326-327. Durandus copies the whole argument from Anonymus Vaticanus, Super Sent., IV, 44, 4, resp., 2°, f. 176ra.
  23. Albertus Magnus, De resurrectione, ed. Kübel, Münster i. W. 1958 (Opera omnia, Editio Coloniensis, vol. 26), pp. 336-7.
  24. Albertus Magnus, Commentarii in IV Sententiarum, d. 44, C, a. 14, resp., ed. S.C.A. Borgnet, p. 565. Besides, Hugh of St. Cher and Alexander of Hales, e.g., characterise the dotes as habitus, too. It seems to be the view of the majority of the theologians at that time; cf. N. Wicki, Seligkeit, pp. 227-9.
  25. Thomas de Aquino, Super Sent., IV, 44, 2, 1, 1, resp.
  26. This is the position of Alexander of Hales; cf. H.J. Weber, Auferstehung der Toten, p. 324. The theory of the quintum corpus goes back to Aristotle – or even to Plato – who adds to the four elements a fifth one, of which celestial bodies consist; Aristoteles, De gen. et corr., II, 3, 330b3-331a6. See e.g. A. Lumpe, “Element”, in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, vol. 2,Darmstadt 1972, cols 439-441.
  27. See also Thomas de Aquino, Super Sent., II, d. 17, q. 3, a. 1, resp.
  28. This position becomes evident when considered against the background of Thomas’ anthropology. For Thomas, there are no compositional parts in the composite but conceptually, that is to say, for Thomas, it makes no sense to speak of man as a unity of matter and form or body and soul as if body and soul continued to exist in the composite as independent parts. Man is an absolute unity and therefore it is quite obvious that, once the soul is glorified, the dotes flow into the body. Besides, that is true even for anthropologies other than Thomas’. See also H.J. Weber, Auferstehung der Toten, p. 319.
  29. Summa theologiae, III, q. 14, a. 1, ad 2; ibid., q. 28, a. 2, ad 3.
  30. Thomas de Aquino, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 2, a. 1, qc. 1, resp.
  31. Error list I, a. 89, ed. Koch, “Die Magister-Jahre des Durandus de S. Porciano O.P. und der Konflikt mit seinem Orden. Anhang: Die gegen Durandus gerichteten Irrtumslisten”, Kleine Schriften, vol. 2, Rome 1973, pp. 7-118, p. 70; error list II, a. 222, ibid., pp. 115-116.
  32. MS Tortosa, Archivo Capitular de Tortosa, 244, f. 129rb-va.
  33. , f. 129va: “Secundo per rationem, quia non maioris perfectionis est gloria animae per comparationem ad gloriam corporis quam sit natura animae per comparationem(?) ad naturam corporis; sed omnis perfectio naturalis corporis inest sibi per naturam animae; ergo omnis perfectio pertinens ad gloriam corporis inest sibi ex gloria animae et per consequens per aliquid intrinsecum; sed dos impassibilitatis ad gloriam corporis pertinet; ergo etc.”
  34. MS Torino, Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria di Torino, Cod. E. III. 35, f. 173r.
  35. Petrus de Tarantasia, Super Sent., IV, d. 49, q. 4, a. 1, qc. 1, resp., ed. Tolosae 1652 (repr. Ridgewood, New Jersey 1964), pp. 477b-478a; Guillelmus Petri de Godino, Lectura Thomasina, IV, d. 44, q. 2, MS Graz, Universitätsbibliothek 475, f. 95vb: “… impassibilitas … est dos glorificatorum corporum non resultans ex natura quinti corporis, ut quidam dixerunt, quia nihil de quinto corpore venit in compositionem inferiorum corporum, sed resultat ex virtute animae continentis potenter corpus suum et praedominantis super ipsum…”
  36. Iohannis Pecham, Quaestiones tractantes de anima, ed. Spettmann, Münster i.W. 1918, pp. 114-5.
  37. See H.J. Weber, Auferstehung der Toten, pp. 326-7.
  38. Henricus de Gandavo, Quodlibet IX, q. 16, ed. Macken, Leuven 1983, p. 274,51-53.
  39. , p. 275,63-275,67.
  40. The principle of privation ensures that matter cannot receive any form but only such forms of which it is despoiled. In that perspective, privation directs the natural process.
  41. Napoli, 1525, f. 9ra-vb.
  42. Auctoritates Aristotelis, 5, 4, ed. J. Hamesse, p. 171,28: “Motus caeli est primus omnium motuum inferiorum”; cf. Aristoteles, Meteora, I, 2, 339a23-24; Thomas de Aquino, In Meteor., I, lect. 2., n. 4. See also Aristoteles, De caelo, II, 4, 287a23-24; cf. Auctoritates Aristotelis, 3, 55, ed. J. Hamesse, p. 163,71: “Motus caeli est mensura omnium motuum”; ibid., 56, p. 163,72: “Motus caeli est continuus, perpetuus et uniformis”; Thomas de Aquino, In De caelo, II, lect. 6, n. 7.
  43. Napoli 1525, ff. 9vb-10ra.
  44. The critical edition has dos subtilitatis, which does not fit the context. Moreover, it is not what Henry is saying. So, in any case, it has to be emended; Thomas de Sutona, Quodl. IV, q. 17, in Thomas von Sutton, Quodlibeta, ed. M. Schmaus–M. González-Haba, Munich 1969, p. 610,27; Henricus de Gandavo, Quodl. IX, q. 16, p. 275,70-71.
  45. Thomas de Sutona, Quodl. IV, q. 17, p. 613,115-148; see also Thomas de Aquino, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 2, a. 1, qc. 1, ad 2.
  46. Thomas de Sutona, Quodl. IV, q. 17, pp. 615,189-616,198.
  47. Iohannes de Sterngassen, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 2, MS Vat. lat. 1092, f. 97rb.
  48. Iohannes de Sterngassen, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 2, MS Vat. lat. 1092, f. 97rb: “… ex ligatione talium qualitatum ne in actum procedant.”
  49. Iohannes de Sterngassen, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 2, MS Vat. lat. 1092, f. 97rb: “… omnis passio fit per victoriam agentis super patiens; aliter non traheret ipsum ad suos terminos. Impossibile autem est quod aliquid dominetur super patiens nisi debilitetur dominium formae propriae super materiam patientis; non enim potest materia subici uni contrariorum sine hoc quod tollatur dominium alterius super ipsam vel saltem minuatur. Corpus autem humanum et quidquid in eo est erit perfecte subiectum naturae rationali, sicut et ipsa perfecte subicietur Deo. Et ideo in corpore glorioso non poterit esse aliqua mutatio contra dispositionem illam qua perficietur ab anima. Et ita corpora illa erunt impassibilia.”
  50. Iohannes Parisiensis, Super Sent., IV, d. 49, q. 7, MS Paris, Mazarine 889, f. 101va: “Ideo aliter dico quod erunt [sc. corpora beatorum, T.J.
  51. We cite Scotus’ position from what most probably is his Ordinatio; cf. Quaestiones in quartum librum Sententiarum, a distinctione quadragesima nona usque ad quinquagesimam, Parisiis 1894 (Opera omnia, vol. 21), pp. 447a-473b. See H.J. Weber, Auferstehung der Toten, pp. 328-329.
  52. See H.J. Weber, Auferstehung der Toten, pp. 326-327.
  53. Bonaventura, Commentaria in quatuor libros Sententiarum, IV, d. 49, p. 2, s. 1, a. 1, q. 2, Ad Claras Aquas 1889 (Opera omnia, vol. 4), p. 1014b.
  54. See e.g. Aegidius Romanus, Reportatio lecturae super libros I-IV Sententiarum. Reportatio Monacensis, IV, q. 14, a cura di C. Luna, Firenze 2003, pp. 469-470, and above.
  55. Super Sent., IV, d. 47, q. unic., a. 1, ed. Romae, 1596, p. 222a-224b.
  56. La condamnation parisienne de 1277, Nouvelle édition du texte latin, traduction, introduction et commentaire par D. Piché avec la collaboration de C. Lafleur, Paris 1999, p. 126; After the Condemnation of 1277. Philosophy and Theology at the University of Paris in the Last Quarter of the Thirteenth Century. Studies and Texts, ed. by J.A. Aertsen–K. Emery, Jr.–A. Speer, Berlin–New York 2001; H.J. Weber, Auferstehung der Toten, p. 324.
  57. See esp. L. Hödl, Die Grundfragen der Sakramentenlehre nach Herveus Natalis O.P. († 1323), Munich 1956, pp. 135-141; L. Ott, Die Lehre des Durandus de S. Porciano O.P. vom Weihesakrament. Dargestellt nach den verschiedenen Redaktionen seines Sentenzenkommentars und nach der Diskussion der Dominikanertheologie des beginnenden 14. Jahrhunderts, Munich–Paderborn–Vienna 1972, pp. 90-94.
  58. For an overview cf. e.g. T. Jeschke, “Seligkeitsdebatten um 1308”, in 1308. Eine Topographie historischer Gleichzeitigkeit, ed. by A. Speer/D. Wirmer, Berlin–New York 2010, pp. 340-69, esp. pp. 361-3.
  59. Anonymus, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 4, a. 1, MS Vat. lat. 985, f. 175ra: “Notandum ergo quod passio dicitur dupliciter: primo large et communiter vocatur passio omnis receptio, dato quod illud quod recipitur non sit corruptum, sed potius salvatum et perfectivum, sicut dicimus aerem pati quando illuminatur a sole et intellectum quando intelligit. Secundo dicitur passio proprie quam sic diffinit Damascenus lib. II: Passio est motus praeter naturam; unde immoderatus motus cordis eius passio dicitur, sed motus moderatus dicitur eius operatio. Cuius ratio est quia omne quod patitur retrahitur ad terminos agentis; agens enim assimilat sibi patiens, et ideo patiens in quantum huiusmodi trahitur extra proprios terminos in quibus erat.”
  60. Anonymus, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 4, a. 2, MS Vat. lat. 985, f. 175rb-va.
  61. Anonymus, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 4, a. 2, MS Vat. lat. 985, f. 175vb: “Ideo dicunt alii quod corpora sanctorum post resurrectionem esse impassibilia per dotem impassibilitatis, vocandum dotem illam formam quamdam absolutam et positivam effluentem ab anima in corpus per quam fiet ut corpus ita perfecte subiciatur anima quod a nullo contrario poterit immutari.”
  62. Anonymus, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 4, a. 2, MS Vat. lat. 985, f. 176ra: “… et ista assistentia divinae providentiae et virtutis vocat Augustinus, ut dicunt, vigorem immortalitatis, et haec videtur esse eius intentio in Epistula ad Consentium, ubi dicit sic: sicut ab igne fornacis Chaldaeorum abstulit Deus virtute comburendi quantum ad aliquid, quia scilicet corpora puerorum illaesa servata sunt, sed mansit quantum ad aliquid, quia ignis ille comburebat ligna, ita auferet ab humoribus corruptionem et dimittet naturam modo praedicto impediendo excessum actionis et praeservando ab omni nocivo extrinseco.” Cf. Thomas de Aquino, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. 2, a. 1, qc. 1, ad 4. The anonymous author, then, adds two more articles which discuss the impassibility of the glorified bodies with regard to sensitive passion.
  63. Durandus starts his outline with the words “Alius modus est …”, the anonymous text begins with “Alii dicunt …”, which is rather a statement of dissociation. But even Durandus answers the arguments given at the beginning of his question by introducing: “Tenendo hanc opinionem potest responderi ad rationes opinionis oppositae.”
  64. Petrus Aureoli, Super Sent., IV, d. 44, q. unic., a. 3, concl. 3, ed. Romae 1596, p. 210a
  65. Durandellus, Evidentiae contra Durandum, IV.43, ad fidem codicum primum editae studio et cura P.T. Stella, vol. 2, Tübingen–Basel 2003, pp. 1297-1302. See also solution (2) in John of Paris’ account above.
  66. Iohannes Capreolus, Defensiones theologiae divi Thomae Aquinatis, IV, d. 44, q. 2, de novo editae cura et studio C. Paban–T. Pègues, vol. 7, Turonibus 1900 (repr. Frankfurt a. M. 1967), 61b-73a. For a short introduction to Capreolus see my “John Capreolus”, in Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy. Philosophy between 500 and 1500, ed. by H. Lagerlund, 2 vols., Dordrecht et al. 2011, vol. 1, pp. 606-608.
  67. See for this particular theologian, e.g., T. Käppeli, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevi, vol. 1, Rome 1970, pp. 80-100.
  68. Venetiis 1582, f. 498rb-va.
  69. Dominicus de Soto, Super Sent., IV, d. 49, q. 4, a. 5, ed. Bruxellae 1601, p. 934a-b.
  70. Already J. Koch characterised Durandus’ thought in general as Platonic-Augustinian; see his abstract in B. Geyer (ed.), Die patristische und scholastische Philosophie, 11., neubearb. und mit einem Philosophen- und Literatorenregister vers.Auflage,Berlin 1928, p. 524.
  71. -L. Solère, “The Activity of the Cognitive Subject according to Durand of Saint-Pourçain” (forthcoming).
  72. Super Sent., IV, 44, 4, ed. T. Jeschke, p. 103,218-104,229. See Augustinus, Epistula 205, I, 1, ed. A. Goldbacher, pp. 326-7.
  73. Kobusch sees that particular feature culminating in Gabriel Biels philosophy, which he describes as the Janus face of nominalism (“Janusgesicht des Nominalismus”); T. Kobusch, Die Philosophie des Hoch- und Spätmittelalters, Munich 2011, pp. 490-3.
  74. For Henry’s ‘dimorphism’ cf. P. Porro, Doing Theology (and Philosophy) in the First Person: Henry of Ghent’s Quodlibeta, in C. Schabel (ed.), Theological Quodlibeta in the Middle Ages. The Thirteenth Century. Leiden 2006, pp. 171-231.
  75. For the plurality of forms cf. e.g. R. Zavalloni, Richard de Mediavilla et la controverse sur la pluralité des forms, Louvain 1951. The defenders of a plurality of forms and esp. of a forma corporeitatis refer to Avicenna who defined it as the common form of prime matter. Against Avicenna’s view opposed Averroes stating that there is no such determination in prime matter. His view has been adopted by Thomas Aquinas and the contesters of the plurality of forms. See e.g. A. Hyman, “Aristotle’s ‘First Matter’ and Avicenna’s and Averroes’ ‘Corporeal Form’”, in Harry Austryn Wolfson Jubilee Volume, 3 vols, Jerusalem 1965, vol. 1, pp. 385-406; D. Des Chene, Life’s form: late Aristotelian conceptions of the soul, Ithaca, N.Y. 2000, pp. 81-93; D.N. HASSE, “Influence of Arabic and Islamic Philosophy on the Latin West. 4. Natural Philosophy”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arabic-islamic-influence/ (March 21, 2012).
  76. Auctoritates Aristotelis, 2, 26, ed. J. Hamesse, p. 141,39-40: “Melius est ponere principia finita quam infinita, ex quo habetur quod peccatum est fieri per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora.” Cf. Thomas de Aquino, In Physicam, I, lect. 9, n. 74; Aristoteles, Physica, I, 4, 188a17-18. Auctoritates Aristotelis, 37, 124, ed. J. Hamesse, p. 331,74-76: “Peccatum est aliquid ostendi per longiora quod inest per breviora, unde expresse elicitur quod peccatum est fieri per plura quod potest fieri per pauci ora aeque bene.” Cf. Aristoteles, Topica, VIII, 11, 162a25-27.
  77. For Ockham’s ‘razor’ see e.g. W. Hübener, “Ockham’s Razor not Mysterious”, Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte 27 (1983), pp. 73-92; H.J. Cloeren, “Ockham’s razor”, in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, vol. 6, Darmstadt 1984, cols 1094-1096; A.A. Maurer, “Ockham’s Razor and Dialectical Reasoning”, Medieval studies 58 (1996), pp. 49-65.

Thomas Jeschke (Kronach, D, 1978) is a MA in Philosophy (Major), Medieval History (Minor), and Systematic Theology (Minor) (Universityof Cologne, 2005), and a PhD in Philosophy of the Universityof Cologneand the Università del Salento, Lecce(2009). The title of his dissertation is “Deus ut tentus vel visus. The debate about beatitude in a reflexive act (ca. 1293-1320)” (Brill: Leiden-Boston 2011). At present he is Research Assistant (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) in the Durandus editing project at theUniversity of Cologne’s Thomas-Institut (funded by the German Research Council).

He also teaches courses in medieval philosophy at the University of Cologne’s Philosophy Department. Thomas Jeschke is a member of the International Society for the Study of Medieval Philosophy (S.I.E.P.M.) and secretary of the German Society for the Study of Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (GPMR). His scientific interests include medieval epistemology and eschatology, philosophy and theology at the beginning of the 14th century, psychology from the 14th up to the 16th century, and medieval text reception.

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