Carmelite Chronicles
Humanism and Theology

August 23, 2012 |

Scholasticism continued to reign in the theological faculties of the universities. During the 15th century, an attempt was made to inspire loyalty to Carmelite doctors – perhaps an expression of the Renaissance thirst for glory.

Yet, if any school can be said to be favored by Carmelite doctors at this time it was Scotism. An interesting example of humanist thought is Mantuan’s Opus aureum in Thomistas (1492), according to P. O. Kristeller, “the most eloquent and detailed attack against St. Thomas and the Thomists to come down to us from humanist circles of the 15th century.” Written in careful Latin with frequent classical allusions, it insists on the preeminence of the Bible and the Fathers over St. Thomas.

In the Low Countries, the Carmelites continued to favor scholasticism. Erasmus counted some of his bitterest enemies among them, especially Nicholas Baechem, of Egmond (Egmondanus, d. 1526), Inquisitor of the Netherlands, whom he nicknamed “the Camel.”

From The Mirror of Carmel by Joachim Smet, O. Carm.

Fr. Joachim Smet O.Carm.
Fr. Joachim Smet, O.Carm. (1915-2011) was one of the leading historians of the Carmelite Order. In addition to being a founding member and President of the Institutum Carmelitanum in Rome and editor of Carmelus, a journal of Carmelite Studies, Fr. Joachim was a gifted writer. he is well-known for his four-volume work The Carmelites and his Life of Saint Peter Thomas. Among his other works: Familiar Matter of Today-Poems (2007), The Mirror of Carmel: A Brief History of the Carmelite Order, (2011), various publications on Carmelite Nuns, Carmelite Liturgy, Carmelite Libraries of Spain and Portugal and the Carmelites of Medieval England.
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