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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Ian A. McFarland
Affiliation:
Emory University's Candler School of Theology
David A. S. Fergusson
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Karen Kilby
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Iain R. Torrance
Affiliation:
University of Aberdeen
Ian A. McFarland
Affiliation:
Emory University, Atlanta
David A. S. Fergusson
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Karen Kilby
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Iain R. Torrance
Affiliation:
Princeton Theological Seminary
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Summary

Gay and Lesbian Theology: see Queer Theology.

Gender: see Feminist Theology; Sexuality.

Gilson, Étienne Étienne Gilson (1884–1978) was a Parisian Thomist (see Thomism). Like C. Péguy (1873–1914) and J. Maritain (1882–1973), he listened spellbound to the lectures of philosopher H. Bergson (1859–1941) at the Collège de France. He simultaneously heard L. Lévy-Bruhl (1857–1939) lecture on D. Hume (1711–76). While Bergson attuned Gilson to metaphysical realism, Lévy-Bruhl inspired and trained him to be a historian of ideas. Gilson wrote his PhD under Lévy-Bruhl on R. Descartes (1596–1650). His first major works were on T. Aquinas (1919) and Bonaventure (1924). After founding the Institute for Mediaeval Studies in Toronto in 1929, Gilson taught half the year in Paris, as professor of medieval philosophy at the Collège de France, and half in Toronto.

Gilson made three principal contributions to twentieth-century theology. Neo-Scholastic ideology and the exigencies of Catholic apologetics had made Aquinas the theoretical standard by which to judge, and the historical model to which to assimilate, the other medieval thinkers (see Scholasticism). Gilson's first service to modern theology was as a historian. With his highly readable, text-based studies of Augustine, Bonaventure (1221–74), Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153), P. Abelard (1079–1142), Dante (ca 1265–1321), J. Duns Scotus, and lesser lights, Gilson demonstrated the diversity of medieval Christian thinkers. Such historical research by a respected historian and Thomist laid the groundwork for the ressourcement movement of the 1950s.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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