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Gerson, Jean (1363–1429)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-B044-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved October 05, 2022, from

Article Summary

Gerson was one of the leading theologians of the via moderna, the ‘modern way’ of nominalism. A fervent critic of the ‘formalists’ of the via antiqua, Gerson stood in the Ockhamist tradition as a pastoral theologian opposed to strictly speculative questions. His overarching interests lay in the pastoral foundations of theology and opposed abstract and hence ‘unedifying’ metaphysical questions, as these dominated scholastic discourse in the theological faculty at Paris. He sought to mediate between increasingly polemical school disputes, arguing for the recovery of a ‘biblical’ theology that led away from speculative questions toward mystical encounter with God. Later known as doctor christianissimus (the most Christian doctor), Gerson exerted such a profound influence upon the subsequent theological horizon that one historian has aptly called the fifteenth century ‘le siècle de Gerson’.

Citing this article:
Burrows, Mark S.. Gerson, Jean (1363–1429), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-B044-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2022 Routledge.

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