The Beatific Vision in the Sentences Commentary of Gerald Odonis

In: Vivarium
William Duba Université de Fribourg

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The most studied source for Gerald Odonis' doctrine of the beatific vision is the text of his Advent 1333 disputed question known as his Quodlibet. The polemic nature of the question and its structural idiosyncrasies have led to difficulties in interpreting Odonis' theory of the “middle vision” of the divine essence that the separate souls of the blessed have, as well as in understanding his defense of Pope John XXII's controversial opinion (which excludes such a middle vision). By relating Odonis' 1333 disputation to his earlier commentary on the Sentences, most notably his systematic discussion of the beatific vision in book IV, this paper shows how Odonis tried to fit his doctrine of the “middle vision” with his previous discussion, which itself reflects the influence of the 1317 publication of the acts of the 1311-12 Council of Vienne.

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