Gottschalk (GOTTESCHALCUS, GODESCHALC, GOTHESCHALCUS, surnamed Fulgentius from his scholarship), a theologian of the 9th century, celebrated for his share in the controversy on the subject of predestination and grace. He was born about 806 at or near Mentz, and was entrusted to the monks at Fulda (q.v.) at an early age. Growing up, he wished to abandon the monastic life, and obtained an ecclesiastical release from his vow, but the abbot, Rabanus Maurus, retained him against his will, on the ground that no human power could annul the contract entered into by his parents. After studying at Paris he entered the Benedictine convent at Orbais, and was ordained. He was soon distinguished in the cloister for his paradoxes, his love of novelty, his zeal for science, his bold opinions, and, above all, for the warmth with which he supported them. At this period Augustine's works were the favorite study of all ecclesiastics; the learned young men occupied their time in copying them out, the professors in expounding, and the old men in recommending them. Gottschalk passed his life in endeavoring to understand them, and lost himself in the field of metaphysics and mystery. He wished to explain, understand, and penetrate everything. He believed that he found in Augustine the twofold predestination, viz. of some to everlasting life, and of others to eternal death. He visited Rome, Caesarea, Alexandria, and Constantinople, everywhere sowing his opinions, and only reaping disappointment. On his return to Italy in 847, he had several conversations with Nothingus, bishop of Verona, on the subject of his doctrines; and this prelate, alarmed at his principles, thought it his duty to combat them; and, after having vainly endeavored to convince Gottschalk of his danger, he referred him to Rabanus, now archbishop of Mentz. He judged, as Nothingus had done, that Gottschalk taught a dangerous and fatal predestinarianism, that. is to say, the doctrine that "God had, from all eternity, predestinated men to their salvation or damnation; which doctrine takes away a man's liberty, destroys all idea of good and evil, and reduces the human will to a kind of automaton." In Gottschalk's system, foreknowledge was identified completely with predestination; and predestination was arbitrary, both with regard to the saved and to the lost; the one infallibly attaining eternal life, "the other being so necessitated to continue in his sins that he can only be in name a subject of God's grace, and only in appearance a partaker of the sacrament." SEE PREDESTINATION. Gottschalk, hearing that Rabanus had declared against him, went to Mentz hoping to undeceive or convert him, but he was unsuccessful. After several useless conferences, they wrote against each other; and in one of his writings Gottschalk accuses his adversary of Semi-pelagianism. The bishop, offended by this recrimination, assembled a council at Mentz, A.D. 848, to which he cited Gottschalk, condemned him as a heretic, and sent him for justice to the archbishop of Rheims, Hinomar, his proper judge, to whom he wrote a synodal letter, concluding with these words: "We send to you this vagabond monk, in order that you may shut him up in his convent, and prevent him from propagating his false, heretical, and scandalous doctrine." Hincmar was one of the most learned men of his time, but he was also the vainest of his knowledge, and the most fiery. He was delighted to have an occasion for showing his talent for controversy and his zeal for the Church. Having ordered Gottschalk to appear before him, he questioned him, and found him to be firm to his principles; from that time he became his irreconcilable enemy. He assembled a council of thirteen bishops at the castle of Quiercy, in Picardy, A.D. 849, to which he invited Charles the Bald, and had the doctrine of Gottschalk examined before that prince. The unfortunate, but intrepid monk was condemned as a heretic, suspended from the sacerdotal office, declared incapable of teaching, and unworthy of liberty, cruelly flogged before the king and bishops, and shut up for the remainder of his life in the abbey of Hautvillers. Such barbarous treatment, far from restoring Gottschalk to the Church, only revolted his proud and independent spirit, and confirmed him in his opinions. He died in prison, in the monastery of Hautvillers, October 30, 867. When he was at the point of death, the monks who had the care of him gave notice of it to Hincmar, and asked him how they were to treat him. Hincmar had the cruelty to send to Gottschalk a formulary of faith, with an order to sign it, on pain of being deprived of the last sacraments, and of ecclesiastical burial. Gottschalk rejected it with indignation, and Hincmar's order was executed in all its rigor: nevertheless, the treatment he had undergone was censured by a large portion of the clergy of France. Lupus, abbot of Ferrieres, Fulgentius, bishop of Troyes, and Remi, bishop of Lyons, highly disapproved of it. Remi, among others, said, and repeated many times, that heretics had formerly been censured, not by blows, but by reasoning. Ratramnus of Corby published an apology for Gottschalk, and proved, as far as it could be proved, that the doctrine had professed was that of St. Augustine, and had always been that of the Catholic Church. John Scotus Erigena wrote against Gottschalk in his treatise De divina prcedestinatione contra Gottschalcum Monachum. The creed of the opponents of Gottschalk may be found set forth in four articles in Harduin, Concilia 5:18,19. Archbishop Usher published a life of Gottschalk (Dublin, 1631, 4to, and Usher's Works, 4, 1) which was reprinted at Hanau in 1662 (8vo). Full accounts of the controversy maybe found in Vossius, Historia Pelagiana, lib. 7; Mauguin, Vet. auctorum, qui saec. ix 'de prcedestinione et gratia scripserunt Opera et Fragmenta (forming the first part of his Vindiciae Praedestinationis et Gratiae, Paris, 1650, 2 volumes, 4to); Natalis Alexander, Hist. Eccles. sec. 9,10. See also Hook, Eccl. Biogr. 5:341; Gieseler, Ch. History, per. 3, div. 1, § 16; Mosheim, Ch. History, cent. 9, part 2, chapter 3, § 22-25; Hase, Church Hist. § 214; especially Neander, Church History, 3:472-480; Hagenbach, History of Doctrines, § 183; Dupin, History of Eccles. Writers, cent. 9; Monnier, De Gothescalci et J. Scoti Erigenae Controversia (1853); Hoefer, Nouv. Biograph. Generale, 21:342; Arnold, Theological Critic, March, 1852, art. 3; Borrasch, Gottschalk. sein Leben u. seine Lehre (Thorn, 1868, 8vo); Methodist Quarterly, July 1857, page 352; Illgen, Zeitschriftf. d. hist. Theol. 1859, Heft 4.

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