All Rights Reserved.
Site last updated
26 June, 2013
History of Philosophy|
The Pantheistic School
by Turner, William (S.T.D.)
 Cf. Jundt, Histoire du panthéisme au Moyen Age
The pantheism which appeared in the schools towards the end of the
twelfth century was the outcome of many influences, of which the most
important were the realistic Platonism of the school of Chartres, the
natural drift of mysticism towards pantheism, the growing influence of
Arabian speculation, and the revival of the study of Erigena's De
Bernard of Tours (Bernardus Silvestris), who lived during
the second half of the twelfth century, composed a work De Mundi
Universitate,  which he dedicated to Theodoric of Chartres, thus
indicating the affiliation of the first form of pantheism which
appeared in the twelfth century to the school of Chartres. The work is
an attempt at deducing a cosmic system from a monad by means of the
doctrine of emanation. In method and manner it recalls the treatises of
the Neo-Pythagoreans of Alexandria.
 This work was published by Barach under the title Bernardi
Silvestris De Mundi Universitate, sive Megacosmos et Microcosmos
(Innsbruck, 1876), and was ascribed (wrongly, as Clerval has shown) to
Bernard of Chartres.
AMAURY OF BČNE
Life. Amaury (or Amalric) of Bčne, or of Chartres, taught
theology and dialectic at Paris during the second half of the twelfth
century. After his condemnation in 1204, he was obliged to retire from
Paris. His books were destroyed, and the date of his death is unknown.
The birthplace of Amaury (which is near Chartres) suggests the early
influence of the members of the school of Chartres, and it is now
almost universally conceded that during the last decades of the twelfth
century the works of Erigena were so widely known that it is natural to
suppose that Amaury was acquainted with Erigena's doctrines. 
 Cf. Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis, edd.
Denilie et Chatelain (Paris, 1889 ff.), I, 107.
Sources. In the absence of primary sources, it is necessary to
have recourse to secondary authorities. Chief among these is
Stöckl, relying on Gerson's account, attributes to Amaury the
1. Identity of creature and Creator: "Cum in Ipso sint omnia,
imo Ipse sit omnia . . . non facile posse negari Creatorem et creaturam
idem esse." 
 Gerson, Opera (Hague, 1728), Vol. IV, p. 826.
2. Substantial unity of all things: "Omnia esse unum. Deum esse
essentiam omnium creaturarum et esse unum." 
3. Realism, based on identity of specific nature: "Alterius
naturae non est Abraham et alterius Isaac, sed unius et ejusdem." 
This account, given by Gerson, is confirmed by the testimony of the
Council of Paris (1210) at which Amaury was condemned, and by the work
Contra Amaurianos, written about 1208, against the followers of
Amaury, who seem to have been numerous at that time.
Associated with Amaury is Joachim de Floris (died 1202), who is
referred to by St. Thomas and Albertus Magnus as maintaining "Essentia
genuit essentiam."  Consult Denifle, Archiv, I, 50 ff.
 St. Thomas, Sum. Theol., Ia, XXXIX, 5; Albertus Magnus,
Sum. Theol., P. I, Tract. VII, Q. XXX, Memb. 3, Art. 1.
DAVID OF DINANT
Life. David of Dinant seems to have evolved his doctrine of
pantheism independently of the influence of Amaury and of the school of
Chartres. He drew largely from Arabian sources. Denifle publishes  a
text in which Albertus Magnus refers to a certain Alexander as the man
from whom David derived his heresy. It is more probable that it was
Dominicus Gundisalvi who made David conversant with the literature of
Arabian pantheism. It is certain at all events that David studied the
philosophy of Erigena.
The twelfth century, however, was an age in which
the genuine representatives of the Scholastic movement knew how to
defend themselves. They were strong with the vigor of youth, and,
believing in the justice of their cause, they successfully repelled
every attack, so that out of the struggles which the twelfth century
witnessed there came forth a victorious Scholasticism prepared for the
great constructive task to be accomplished in the following century.
The results achieved by Scholastism in the second period of its history
include: (1) the success of the anti-realists; (2) the recognition of
the Scholastic method as a legitimate method in philosophy and
theology; (3) the establishment of a broader spirit of culture, of a
"humanism" which admitted that the Neo-Latin civilization had much to
learn from the civilizations of Greece and of the Orient. These results
will appear in the writings of the first schoolmen of the third period.
 Chartul., I, 71.