John Scotus Erigena

John Scotus Erigena

Erigena, John Scotus [Lat. Scotus=Irish, Erigena=born in Ireland], c.810-c.877, scholastic philosopher, born in Ireland. About 847 he was invited by Charles II, king of the West Franks (later Holy Roman emperor), to take charge of the court school at Paris. At Charles's request he translated the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius and his commentator Maximus the Confessor. His own philosophical speculation is contained in the De divisione naturae and the fragmentary De egressu et regressu animae ad Deum. Erigena was perhaps the most learned man of his time and a remarkable thinker. His thought, based on that of Pseudo-Dionysius, Maximus the Confessor, the Greek Fathers, and St. Augustine, is Neoplatonic. Philosophy and theology are identified; all thinking and being begin and end with God, who is above all being and thought. Erigena makes a fourfold division of the things that are, or nature—that which creates and is not created; that which is created and creates; that which is created and does not create; that which neither creates nor is created. The first is God, the source of all things. The second is the Logos, existent in, and coeternal with, God, in whom are the primordial causes and types of things. The third is the world of space, time, and generation, which came into being from the primordial causes by emanation through the successive genera and species. The fourth is again God, but regarded now as the end of all things; for just as creatures have emanated from God, so they will return to Him.

See study by D. Moran (1989).

Latin Johannes Scotus Eriugena

(born 810, Ireland—died circa 877) Irish-born theologian, translator, and commentator. In his philosophical system, which came to be known as Scotism, he attempted to integrate Greek and Neoplatonist philosophy with Christian belief in such works as On Predestination (851), which was condemned by church authorities. On the Division of Nature (862–866) tries to reconcile Neoplatonism with the Christian doctrine of creation; for its pantheistic implications, it too was condemned. His Latin translations of major works of Greek patristic literature made them accessible to Western thinkers. Remembered for the nonconformity of his thought, he is said to have been stabbed to death by his students with their pens for attempting to make them think.

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Johannes Scotus or Skotus, John Scotus, or John the Scot may refer to:

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