BEC, ABBEY OF: Benedictine abbey of Normandy, situated at the present village of Le BecHellouin (7 m. s.w. of Rouen). It was founded about 1034 by Herluin, a noble Norman, who was first abbot. Mainly because of its great teachers, Lanfranc (who came to the abbey about 1042 and was prior 1045 or 1046-66) and Anselm (entered the abbey 1060; prior 1063-78; abbot 1078-93; see ANSELM, SAINT, OF CANTERBURY), it became a famous center of learning for Normandy and, after the Conquest, for England. Among those who studied there were: Anselm of Lucca, afterward Pope Alexander II; Anselm of Laon; Gilbert Crispin, abbot of Westminster, author of the life of Herluin; Milo Crispin, biographer of Lanfranc and certain of the early abbots; Arnulf and Gundulf, bishops of Rochester; Ivo of Chartres; Gutmund, archbishop of Aversa; and William, archbishop of Rouen. Its fifth abbot, Theobald, became archbishop of Canterbury (1139); and the seventh abbot was Vacarius, who about the middle of the twelfth century introduced the study of the Roman law into England. The abbey was destroyed during the French Revolution.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Chronicon Beccensis abbati, with the lives by the Crispins above referred to, are in D'Achéry's edition of the works of Lanfranc, Paris, 1648; reprinted in MPL, cl; and the Gesta of seven Abbots of Bec, by Peter the Monk, written 1150, are in MPL, clxxxi.
BECAN (VERBEECK, VAN DER BEECK), MARTIN: Jesuit; b. at Hilvarenbeeck (35 m. n.e. of Antwerp), in Brabant, Jan. 6, 1563; d. in Vienna Jan. 24, 1624. He joined the Jesuits in 1583; taught philosophy and theology at schools of the order in Cologne, Würzburg, Mainz, and Vienna; and became confessor to the emperor Ferdinand II in 1620. He engaged in controversy with Lutherans, Calvinists and Anabaptists, and in particular attacked the Church of England. In his Controversia Anglicana de Potestate pontificis et regis (Mainz, 1613) he defended the morality of assassinating a heretic king; and in Qustiones de fide hreticis servanda (1609) he declared that no promise or oath given to a heretic was binding. The former work was condemned at Rome. His collected works were published in two volumes at Mainz, 1630-31.
BECK, JOHANN TOBIAS: German theologian; b. at Balingen (40 m. s.s.w. of Stuttgart), Württemberg, Feb. 22, 1804; d. at Tübingen Dec. 28, 1878. He studied at Tübingen 1822-26, was pastor at Waldthann and Mergentheim, went to Basel as extraordinary professor in 1838, and in 1843 to Tübingen, where he remained as professor and morning preacher till his death. He has been characterized as the most important representative of the strictly Biblical school of theology in the nineteenth century. He aimed to base all doctrine on the Bible, and allowed value to Church teachings only as interpretations of the Bible. He held an extreme view of revelation and inspiration, and hardly entered into critico-historical questions. His life was plain and simple, and his kind heart won general affection. He published, besides several collections of sermons, the following works: Einleitung in das System der christlichen Lehre (Stuttgart, 1838, 2d ed., 1870); Die Geburt des christlichen Lebens, sein Wesen und sein Gesetz (Basel, 1839); Die christliche Lehrwissenschaft nach den biblischen Urkunden, i, Logik (Stuttgart, 1841, 2d ed., 1875); Die christliche Menschenliebe, das Wort und die Gemeinde Christi (Basel, 1842); Umriss der biblischen Seelenlehre (Stuttgart, 1843, 3d ed., 1873; Eng. transl., Biblical Psychology, Edinburgh, 1877 ); Leitfaden der christlichen Glaubenslehre für Kirche, Schule und Haus (Stuttgart, 1862, 2d ed., 1869); Gedanken aus und nach der Schrift für christliches Leben und geistliches Amt (Frankfort, 1859; 2d ed., 1878). After his death were published commentaries on the epistles to Timothy (Gütersloh, 1879) and the Romans (2 vols., 1884), and on Rev. i-xii (1883); Pastorallehren des Neuen Testaments (1880; Eng. transl., Pastoral Theology, Edinburgh, 1882); Vorlesungen über christliche Ethik (3 vols., 1882-83); Briefe und Kernworte (1885); Vorlesungen über christliche Glaubenslehre (2 vols., 1886-87); Vollendung des Reiches Gottes (1887).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: For his life consult: Worte der Erinnerung,
Tübingen, 1879 (the part by Weizsäcker is especially valuable); B. J. Riggenbach, T. Beck, ein Schriftgelehrter
zum Himmelreieh, Basel, 1888. On his theology consult:
F. Liebetrut, J. T. Beck und seine Stellung zur Kirche,
Berlin, 1858; C. Sturhahn, Die Rechtfertigungslehre nach
Beck mit Berücksichtigung von Ebrard's Sola, Leipsic, 1890.
On his work as a preacher: A. Brömel, Homiletische Charakterbilder, 2 vols., ib. 1874; A. Nebe, Geschichte der Predigt, vol. iii, Wiesbaden, 1879.
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