DURAND, dU-randy, OF SAINT POURCAIN, par san.

His Life (§ 1).
Independence as a Thinker (§ 2).
Philosophical Position (§ 3).
His Theology (§ 4).
His Doctrine of the Sacraments (§ 5).
His Significance as a Teacher (§ 6).

Durand of Saint Poul'gain (Durondus de Sancto Porciano), scholastic theologian, bishop of Meaux, was born at Saint Pourpain (85 m. a.w. of Lyons) in


Auvergne, in the third quarter of the thirteenth cen tury; d. at Meaux (28 m. e. of Paris) Sept. 10, 1334. He entered the Dominican order as early as 1303. In 1312 he was made a licentiate and was called to Avignon as lector curies and magister S. Palatii, and remained there for some time. In r. His Life. 1317 he was made a bishop, in 1326 bishop of Meaux. During the last years of his life he was in opposition to John XXI1. on account of his teaching of the visio beatified, and a judicium magistrorum theologise in curia existen tium declared eleven of his articles objectionable. Of his writings one only has importance, the com prehensive commentary on the "Sentences" of Peter Lombard, which he commenced, according to his own statement, while a young man and finished in his old age. ` In the controversy between the scientific tend encies of his time, Durand occupied an independ ent critical position and adhered to no echool authority, a position for which he obtained the name of Doctor resohstisaimus. To be sure, dogmatic statements which had become authoritative in the Church are without question authoritative for him, but he distinguishes clearly between that which is really an ecclesiastical statement and that which is commonly deduced from it, a. Inde- the former, not the latter, being bind pendence asing. Besides, the authority of any in s Thinker. dividual teacher must yield to good contrary reasons. Especially is this true (as he states with unmistakable reference to the colleagues of Thomas, who would make him. the absolutely authoritative theologian of the order, Prcaf. lie sent. no. 12) with respect to every modern teacher, for " every one who dismisses reason for the sake of human authority falls into beastly unwisdom." Still more decided is Durand's position against extra-ecclesiastical authorities; " it is no part of natural philosophy to know what Aristotle or other philosophers thought, but the truth of the matter is the essential thing; where fore when Aristotle deviates from the truth of the matter it is no science to know what Aristotle thought, but rather error" (Pro?f, in sent., qu. 1, no. 6). Like all theologians of that time, Durand hoe his say on the question of universalia. But his position is not clear owing to the fact that the commentary was composed during a long period, within which his views underwent development. Hence Prantl states (p. 292) only that he approaches to nominalistic views and Baur (Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters, p. 377), that the premises of nom inalism are found in him. Nevertheless every real entity is to him merely individual entity (II., diet. 3, qu. 3, no. 9). To be sure the general concepts are not merely nothings, since they designate con gruities which are found among different things, but these congruities do not go back to something really common, therefore: "The unity of suniver cal in its particulars is not a unity of the thing but a unity of relationship, just as the entity is an entity of relationship" (L, dirt. 19, qu. 4, no. 10; cf. II., diet. 3, qu. 3, no. 1G). On this account also the much disputed question concerning the prin-

eiplum irtdividuationia becomes to him null and' void, because be thinks it a simple matter of fact that every thing real proceeds as such

3. Philosophical

from the individual and is individual (II., diet 3, qu. 3, no. 15). From this Position. point of view Durand must be con sidered a nominalist, though this is not clear everywhere. But on the other hand it can not be said that the theological views of Durand are to be traced to his nominalism, or even to his philosophical views in general, for he does not do it himself. Only a certain corresponding tendency in his thinking on both spheres may be admitted. Durand allows his views to develop everywhere from a criticism of his predecessors, but this crit icism, acute as it is, rests so little on firm pervading principles that a Durandian system can hardly be spoken of. As a Dominican he started in the first place from Thomas, but in essential points he freed himself from Thomism and pursued in many directions a like path to Scotus, without therefore becoming a Scotist. For example he does not share with him the fundamentally important position of the will before intelligence. On the question whether theology is to be considered a science; he deviates much from Thomas asserting with em phasis that for moat theological statements a scien tific demonstration is impossible; he does not even admit with Scotus the possibility of a scientifically satisfactory refutation of the contrary reasons (IV., diet. ll, qu. 1, no. 6). Further considerations lead him to the result that theology is in no respect a science in the strict sense, but only in the wider sense, because one may call science a discipline which rests on true propositions, though not evi dent to the reasoner. On the whole in Durand may be perceived a keen apprehension of the distinction between faith and knowledge. Thomas imagined that he was able to bridge over the chasm between both, since faith, so far as it rests on divine authority appeared to him under the point of view of knowl edge, and indeed of a knowledge the certainty of which is greater than that of all knowledge from natural reason (Summa, p. L, qu. 1, art. 8, ad. 2). Durand, however, says (II., diet. 23, qu. 7, no. 10) "there are many conditions of knowl edge and action in us more certain and better known than faith."

Characteristic of Durand's morally serious but religiously cool mode of consideration is his answer to the question (IV., diet. 1, qu. 7) "whether sin should be more hateful to the believer because it is offensive to God or because it is hurtful to himself." The idea of offense Dei, also that of the wrath of God, is here in substance wholly removed: both are asserted of God only secundum effectum not secvndum dffectum, and by o ffensa Dei must not be understood a displeasure of God in the sinner or the will to punish him, for the expression is nothing more than a metaphorical designation of punishment itself, and originated by trana-

4. His ferring to God a disposition analogous Theology. to that in which the reproving man generally is. The guilt of the sinner is therefore not in the o ffensa Dei, but in the irregular conduct of man; such a conduct is against reason,


whereas the just punishment is not against reason, and hence sin is a greater evil and must be hated more than punishment. This is a way of viewing things which comes near to that of Kant, but is just as far removed from that of Anselm as from that of Luther. No less removed from Anselm is Durand also with respect to the necessity of re demption through the satisfaction by the son of God. If Thomas allowed it at least relatively, Durand denies in the first place all necessity for God to redeem the fallen race, secondly also, if a redemption was to take place, the necessity of a perfect satisfaction, since God could have refused all satisfaction or could have been satisfied with a lesser one (III., diet. 20, qu. 12). That not all have part in the salvation, and that there exists a dif ference between the predestined and non-pre destined, must be assumed on the ground of reve lation. For a rational argument one may assert with Thomas that in this way in the order of the universe not only the bonum rtxisericordice but also the bonum jvstitice punientis is fully asserted, but Durand finds this reason not cogent because the punitive justice is only a relative good, in so far as it serves as remedy, for "the universe were better off without guilt and punitive justice than with them; just as nature were better uff without sickness and medicine than with them" (L, diet. 41, qu. 2, no. 13 ). Concerning the sacraments Durand adopted the already customary number seven, but he went back again to the more ancient distinction between sac raments in the narrower and wider sense and con sidered marriage as a sacrament only in the wider sense. The doctrine of transubstantiation caused him, like many of his contemporaries, great diffi culties. His older contemporary and monastic colleague, John of Paris, taught a kind of conaubstan tiation-the substances remain after the conse crationbut not in proprio supposito 5. His Doc- he was tried on that account but died trine of the at Avignon before the trial was ended. Sacraments. Durand is more cautious; he remarks indeed that the reasons for the doc trine are not satisfying, but he also states that the assumption that the substance of the elements remains would remove many difficulties (IV., dirt. 11, qu. i, no. 15-17). Against all these consider ations however stands the authority of the Church, to which one must be subject. He wishes there fore only to oppose a certain form of transubstan tiation-the common one-according to which a complete change of the substances takes place, and tries to explain this as conceivable by assuming a change of the form of the elements, whereas the substance turns into the form of the body of Christ. Taking all together the importance of Durand may thus be expressed: (i) he is a theologian of a strictly ecclesiastico-conservative tendency, and only within these limits of one com b. His Sig- paratively more liberal (2) a somewhat nificance as larger freedom was made possible for s Teacher. him by the separation of the domains of faith and knowledge, but even in this form he used it in a very moderate manner. (3) His talent is predominantly critical,not productive ; he is stronger in critical reflection on the points under discussion than in the deeper appre hension of the subjects; (4) the preceding consid erations taken together explain why he was unable to produce an epoch-making impression. Such could have proceeded mainly from the treatment of the preliminary questions of theology and from his nominalism, but in both respects he was out stripped by the boldness of Occam and, as it were, placed in the shade. (5) Nevertheless his main work has for a long time enjoyed an authority on account of the excellences mentioned above and on account of its dogmatic correctness. Gerson rec ommended him beside Thomas, Bonaventura, and Henry of Ghent, and in the sixteenth century there still existed at Salamanca a special chair for Durand.

S. M. Deutsch.

Bibliography: The commentary on Peter Lombard has been often printed; the Antwerp edition of 1587 is quoted above. O. Raynaldus, A>fnalea eecteaiaetici., ad, an. 1534, Cologne, 1694-1727; C. E. du Boulay, Historia ua3veraitatia Pariaieaeia, iv. 954, 8 vols., Paris, 1685-73; C. Oudin, Commentarius de arriptoribua aecleaiee, vol. iii.. Frankfort, 1722; A. H. Ritter, Geschichte der Philbsophie, viii. 550 sqq., Hamburg, 1845; idem, Die christliche Philosophie, i. 712 sqq., Göttingen, 1858; A. $tSck1, Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters, ii. 978-988, Mainz, 1885; J. B. Haur4su, De la philosophic acolaetiqae, ii. 411 sqq., Paris, 1850; idem, H%stoire de la philosophic acolaetique, ii. 2, pp. 47 sqq., ib. 1880; C. von Prantl, Geschichte der Logik im Abendlaade, iii. 292 sqq., Leipsic, 1887; K. Werner, Thomas von Aquino, iii. 108 sqq., Regensburg, 1859; idem, Die aomiaalisierende PaychoZopie des apiBeiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters, 3 vols.. Münster, 1891-1901.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 08/11/06. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely