GERRHENIANS, ger-ri'ni-anz: The name of a people or of the inhabitants of a district in the extreme south of Palestine, mentioned II Macc. xiii. 24 as marking the southern boundary (on the coast) of the Syrian province. The description there given tallies with the passage I Macc. xi. 59. Identification is not to be made with the military and impost station named Gerrhon or Gerrha, fifty stadia east of Pelusium, since this place was in Egyptian territory, and the passage in Maccabees does not imply a military station. Stark and Ewald connect it with the Gerar of Gen. xx. 1, xxvi. 1; II Chron. xiv. 13. The regio Geraritica is well known from the Onomasticorl of Eusebius and of Jerome (240, and 124) as located beyond (i.e., to the south of) Daroma as the borderland of Canaan and Egypt. The modern name of the Wadi Jerar or Jerur in the neighborhood of Kadesh recalls the old name and agrees with the geographical conditions.

(H. Guthe.)

Bibliography: K. B. Stark, Gaza und die Philiatuiaelu Rüste, p. 483, Jena, 1852; H. Ewald, Geschichte des Ydkes kraal, iv. 416, Göttingen, 1884; C. L. W. Grimm, Dae zweite . . . Buch der Makkabder, Leipsic, 1857: H. Waco, Apocrypha, ii. 883, London, 1888.


His Philosophy. Mysticism (§ 1).
His Pride se s Theologian. Influence of Patriotic Feeling (§ 2).
Gerson's Doctrine of the Papacy and Councils (§ 3).
The Council of Constance (§ 4).
Last Years (§ 5).

Johannes Arnaudi de Gersonio, as the earliest entry of his name reads in the records of the University of Paris, was chancellor of the University of Paris, one of the most prominent figures in the ecclesiastical disputes of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, and one of the founders of Gallicanism (q.v.). He was born in the long since obliterated hamlet of Gerson (Jarson), not far from Rethel (100 m. n.e. of Paris), in the diocese of Reims, Dec. 14, 1363, and died at Lyons July 12, 1429. He was the eldest son of peasants, Arnolphe le Charlier and Elisabeth Chardeni6re (concerning an extant letter from his mother to her two eldest sons, cf. Schwab, p. 54; Jadart, pp. 119-120), and his education was made possible by the Duke of Burgundy's patronage. After preparation at Reims, he went to Paris in 1377 and entered the College of Navarre. Having completed his course in the arts in 1381, he took up theology the same year. In 1383 and 1384 he was procurator of the Gallic nation; in 1387 he was a member of the university's embassy to Clement VII. against the Dominican Jean de Montson, who denied the Immaculate Conception. He became doctor of theology in 1392, and in 1395 succeeded his teacher Pierre d'Ailly in the chancellorship. This office, which he occupied to the end of his life, gave him opportunity to exert a lasting influence not only


upon theological instruction, but on academic in struction at large; while the ecclesiastical position therewith connected favored his natural inclina tion to activity in the domain of ecclesiastical prac tise, preaching, and the cure of souls. He began his scholastic activity with a notable reform of the theological course on its practical side (cf. the letter to his teacher D'Ailly, De reforma tione theologise, Opera, i. 1, p. 120; and two letters to the scholars of the College of Navarre, p. 106). Only from the closing period of his life are certain tracts preserved which treat of logical i. His Phi- and metaphysical problems. Gerson losophy. is a nominalist, but he seeks to mediate Mysticism. between this tendency and realism; our ideas of things first have necessity in the notion of God, and at this point being and .thinking coincide. Philosophy, too, is a revelation of God, but knowledge needs to be supplemented through faith, which is not merely an act of cog nition, but rather a matter of volition. Accordingly the task of theology is a practical one; and for Gerson the true theology is mysticism. The func tion of scholasticism is merely to supply the form for the treatment of mysticism. But the latter, in turn, can preserve its wholesomeness, that is to say, its ecclesiastical character, only by such treatment. Radical mysticism, including that of Jan van Ruysbroeck (q.v.), Gerson combated zealously. His prototypes were Hugo and Richard of St. Victor (qq.v.) and Bonaventum; on occasion he reaches back to Bernard, Augustine, and the great Dio nysius. His principal mystical writings (Opera, vol. iii., ed. Du Pin) belong in a remarkable degree to the period of his activity in church politics; the Considerstiones de theologis mystics grew out of lectures, and their second part bears evidence of having been written down in the autumn of 1407, during a journey as ambassador to Genoa. The mystical process culminates in love, the fundamental attitude of mind, innate in man. In its highest development-to be sure not an "actual" union with God, but still the closest conceivable moral union-it is also the highest knowledge. But the prepossessions of the theologian here prevent Ger son from drawing the right conclusion from this knowledge. He speaks of a perfected knowledge without love, and of a love without perfected in sight. Only the theologian can attain to perfected mysticism. And to restore to the theologian his natural right, to enable him to exercise this right, was the aim of his many-sided literary and practical activity. The overpowering development of the papal rule in the Church had thrust law before theology, the faculty of the canonists before that of the theo logians. And now the schism threat z. His Pride cued to destroy utterly the venerable as a Theo- halo of the Parisian doctors of divinity; logian. In- with a qistinctiy French papacy, also fluence of -after they had prided themselves on Patriotic having pronounced decisions for the Feeling. popes of the entire Church-they saw the danger that they would sink to the level of theological schools like Avignon and Tou louse. With their ambition patriotism worked as

an equally powerful factor, a product of the times, of the political need of France as it then was-the most glowing enthusiasm for the idea of the French kingdom; and yet, the national growth of that same kingdom was, in reality, to strike the death-blow to the university's world-fame. The union of heterogeneous elements the theologian seeks in a single dogma: France the New Jerusalem, and its kingdom, since the baptism of Clovis, consecrated by a universal ecclesiastical call! The coalescence of the two factors is what stamps the character of a man like Gerson in its comprehensive historical bearings; for that is what dominates the activity in church polities which placed him among the leaders of his age.

Gerson entered the-field of church politics as a follower of his teacher D Ailly; and this occasioned him at the outset a serious conflict, since he was pledged to follow the House of Burgundy, whereas D'Ailly had attached himself to the young Prince of Orlans,

and from the pontificate of Benedict 3. Gerson's XIII., the political opposition of these Doctrine of two houses had appeared more and the Papacy more sharply in ecclesiastical matters.

and Gerson sought to mediate, especially Councils. in his highly finished Trialogus in

materia schismatis. Nevertheless lie belonged to the Burgundian camp, and in a great state address, in 1405, he dared to lay down the law to the "tyrant" Orlans. In the subsequent evolution of affairs, he became more and more of a partizan down to the Council of Pisa. He did not attend the same in person, but in his De unitate ecclesiastics and De auferibilitate papse ab ecclesia he upheld its legitimacy in the strongest terms; after the decrees of the council itself, his tracts are the most important original sources for "Councilism." Here, too, Gerson is not original, but dependent in the main on Conrad of Gelnhausen and Henry of Langenstein (q.v.); it was his casuistical elaboration of their principles, and, on another side, his diverting them from the danger of an antihierarchical negation, that first made them popular. For Gerson is so little of a "liberal" that lie attaches preeminent validity to papacy and hierarchy, as the mode of being immutably ordained by God for the Church. However, he makes a distinction between the office in itself (formaliter) and the office in its personal administration at any given time (materialiter); and as every law is interpreted by the purpose of the law, so the hierarchy is subordinate to the more comprehensive idea of the Church Ecumenical. Furthermore, this is not a mere theory, but it has its visible illustration in the general and at least potentially infallible council. The council, to be sure, is composed only of hierarchical authorities, but still every believer must be able to find expression therein. The individual pope is subject to the council, and, if need be, it can assemble without him. Indeed, the motive thought so greatly outweighs, in Gerson's mind, the literal text of the law that he supposes the contingency that a duly elected pope might be executed, if the weal of the Church required it.

At Constance, Gerson experienced the gratification of seeing this doctrine of his erected into an


article of faith; and he played a leading part at the head of the deputation from the University of Paris in the critical days after the flight of John XXIII (see Constance, Council Of). But

,4. The from that time forth his fame rapidly Council of paled. In the trial of Huss he served Constance. as accuser: After that, apart from certain reports and gala addresses, his name is no longer mentioned in the official documents. The animating forces of the council passed out of his control. In fact, though chancellor of the first university in the world, from whom an influence over that impressionable assembly might have been expected equaled by few others, he had missed his mark. He had conceived the notion of making the council decide a question which was really French in its coloring and beeame uplifted to the plane of a theological moral problem. On Nov. 23, 1407, an assassin's hand, in the hire of John of Burgundy, the son and heir of Philip, had made way with Duke Louis of Orléans, the brother of Charles VI.; and in the year following, Jean Petit, professor of theology in Paris, justified this murder as due to a tyrant and arch-traitor. Gerson was so deeply devoted to the Burgundian cause that he maintained silence, and still further upheld the assassin's policy. But in Paris this shortly led to mob rule, and revolution was succeeded by reaction. Patriots' eyes were opened, and they became permanently estranged from the Burgundian. Gerson in particular now believed all the nation's misery to be traceable to that crying violation of law and morality, and thenceforward he applied all his power to the end of making satisfaction, without which a real peace were impossible. But by this course he naturally passed into the service of the opposing party, which came to wield a decisive influence in shaping the policy of the French delegation to the council, and-if a few waverings be excepted-continued to maintain this influence throughout the entire session. The bishop of Paris, on Feb. 23, 1414, had been obliged to condemn the "doctrine" of Petit; and it was desired to have the council confirm this verdict. In striving for this goal Gerson displayed a persistency which proclaims a pure idealism far exalted above partizan passion. It is his fairest renown, but also the tragic strain in his life. For in the course of the highly excited proceedings which extended over the years 1415 to 1417, he almost entirely isolated himself. From the council, which he had approached so joyfully and hopefully, he withdrew under the bitterest protest (cf. the Dialogus apologetieus and Tractatus quomodo etan liceat in eavsis ftdei a summo pontifice appellare seu ejus iudicium declinare). And, instead of returning to his beloved fatherland, he had to wander into exile for fear of his former patron, the Duke of Burgundy.

Through Albert of Bavaria he first found refuge at Rattenberg on the Inn, later at Neuburg. In the autumn of 1418 he moved over to

5. Last Austrian territory, probably to Mblk; Years. and Duke Frederick of Austria even offered him a Vienna professorship. After the assassination of John of Burgundy (Sept. 10, 1419) Gerson retired to the quiet of a canonry at St. Paul's in Lyons, employing his leisure in literary labors. Amid the abundance of partly edifying, partly dogmatic and moral writings that belong to this latter period, mention may be made merely of the Consoktio theologize; the rather long poem Josephina, in honor of St. Joseph; the Gos pel harmony Monotessaron ; the Dialogus sophioe et naturm super ealibatu ; , the treatise De eoneordia metaphysicte cum logica; the Collectorium super Magni ficat, and the Tractatus super cantica canti corum. He appeared in public only to deliver an address before a provincial synod at Lyons (1421). That he instructed children is probably a myth. He obtained a proud monument in the Church of St. Lawrence. The populace honored him as one of the blessed, and miracles at his grave were re ported. But this memorial did not survive the progress of time, and the Church of St. Lawrence itself succumbed to the Revolution. Only his title of Doctor christianissimus continued to live in the learned world in connection with his peren nially reprinted works. For his claim to the au thorship of the "Imitation of Christ" see Kempis, Thomas A.

B. Bess.

Bibliography: he best and most complete edition of the works of Gerson is by L. Ellies Du Pin, 5 vols., Antwerp, 1706. For discussion of the sources up to 1858 the best works are J. B. Schwab, Johann Gerson, Würzburg, 1858, and P. Tschackert, Peter von Ailli, Gotha, 1877. Consult J. C. E. Bourret, Essai historiqus et critique sur lea sermons françaia de Gerson, Paris, 1858; H. Jadart, Jean de Gerson. . . recherches cur son origins, son village natal et so famine, Reims, 1882; K. Werner, Die Scholastik des spitteren Mittelalters, vol. iv., Vienna, 1887; E. Guillon, De Johanne Gersonio, Paris, 1888; B. Bess, Johannes Gerson und die kirchen-politischen Parteien Frankreichs vor dam Koncil zu Pisa, Marburg, 1891. Consult also R. A. Vaughan, Hours urith the Mystics, i. 338, 369, London 1879; KL, v. 457-473; Neander, Christian Church, v. 53-93 et passim.


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