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
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
, and a judicium magistrorum theologise in curia existen
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
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
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
, 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
eiplum irtdividuationia becomes to him null and'
void, because be thinks it a simple matter of fact
that every thing real proceeds as such
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.