Life and Thought of Siger of Brabant, Thirteenth Century Parisian Philosopher. An Examination of His Views on the Relationship of Philosophy and Theology

Author: Dodd, Tony
This study represents the first in-depth reexamination in any language for over twenty years of the life and works of Siger of Brabant. Siger might well be described as the first academic scholar to oppose the claims of the Church hierarchy for total overall control of intellectual study and teaching. Initially, he saw his teaching role as explaining the position of the so-called authorities in the area of philosophy. Subsequently, as one of the very few academics of this time who did not move on to Theology, Medicine or Law, he fought for the independence of his faculty and his domain of academic investigation without direct external interference. This brought him into conflict with the Church authorities, leading to his citation in 1277 for alleged heresy, followed by exile and death in Italy.


“. . . contains extensive, nearly complete bibliographies and other useful information about Siger. Dodd covers four well-chosen, specific subjects in Siger: the intellect, determinism and free will, divine providence, and the (past) eternity of the world. . . . those who are in any way specialists in thirteenth-century philosophy or theology should want to own it. Furthermore, all academics who are interested in one of the many themes it covers (e.g., relations to modern science, relations between reason and religion, medieval anti-clericalism, the influence of Greek and Arabic philosophy on the Latin medievals) surely ought to recommend it to their libraries. The publishers, Edwin Mellen Press, have here fashioned a book attractive in cover and text. And they have very well arranged margins and spacing. In short, they have produced a beau volume.” – Thomas Bukowski in The Thomist

"Siger of Brabant is a seminal, but much under-rated, figure in the history of Western Scholasticism. Using a wide range of primary and secondary sources Dr. Dodd has produced a magisterial analysis of the thought and role of Siger. This will be the standard text for many years to come." - Ian Richard Netton