Lully, (Lull or Lulle), Raymond
Lully, (Lull Or Lulle), Raymond surnamed the Doctori Illuminatus, an eminent Spanish philosopher and theologian, was born at Palma. on the island of Majorca, about 1234. In early life he followed his paternal profession of arms, and abandoned himself to all the license of a soldier's life. Even when married he continued to pursue pleasures inconsistent with conjugal fidelity, and the theme of his poetical compositions was sensual love. About the year 1266, sick and tired of debauchery, he retired to a desert to lead a life of solitude and rigorous asceticism. Here he pretended to have visions, and, among others, a manifestation of Christ on the cross, who called him to his service, and to the conversion of the Mohammedans. He therefore at once engaged in diligent study to prepare for the labors and duties of a missionary. Having mastered the Arabic, and thoroughly entered into the spirit of Arabian philosophical writings, he took to the use of his pen for the conversion of the Saracens, seeking to demonstrate the truth of Christianity in opposition to all the errors of infidels. His first work was his Ars major or generalis, which has so severely tested the sagacity of commentators. This work is the development of the method of teaching known subsequently as the "Lullian method," and afforded a kind of mechanical aid to the mind in the acquisition and retention of knowledge by a systematic arrangement of subjects and ideas. Like all such methods, however, it gave little more than a superficial knowledge of any subject, though it was of use in leading men to perceive the necessity for an investigation of truth, the means for which were not to be found in the scholastic dialectics, and it was published by Lully with the special aim of serving as the preparatory work to a strictly scientific demonstration of all the truths of Christianity.
The king of Majorca, hearing of his reputation, called Lully to Montpellier, where, in 1275, he wrote his Ars demonstrativa, and founded a convent for the preparation of Minorites as missionaries to the Saracens. This was the first linguistic school for missionary purposes. In 1287 he went to Paris, where he lectured on the Ars generalis to a large number of students, and before Bertauld de St. Denis, chancellor of the university. He next went to Rome to seek the countenance of the pope for his plan of establishing missionary schools, which he thought would prove more effective than the Crusades of which he said, "I see many knights going to the Holy Land in the expectation of conquering it by force of arms; but, instead of accomplishing their object, they are in the end all swept off themselves. Therefore it is my belief that the conquest of the Holy Land should be attempted in no other way than as thou (Christ) and thy apostles undertook to accomplish it — by love, by prayer, by tears, and the offering up of our own lives." Meeting, however, with but little success, he returned to Tunis in 1291, and commenced labors as a missionary by holding conferences with the most learned Mohammedan scholars and theologians. In proclaiming to them the truth of the Christian religion, he insisted especially on the necessary adaptation which a perfect Being could not fail to establish between the primary cause and its effect, and attempted to explain the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation by purely metaphysical arguments. He was, however, expelled by the king of Tunis, and owed his life only to the intercession of a learned and liberal Mohammedan. Lully now went back to Paris, resumed his teaching there, and wrote his Tabula generalis and Ars expositiva, which are a continuation of his former works, and present the same ideas under a different form. In 1298 he succeeded in establishing at Paris, under the protection of king Louis Philippe le Bel, a college where his method was taught. France was at that time in great ferment: Philippe le Bel was planning the destruction of the order of Knight Templars, and Boniface VIII, in revindicating the right previously claimed by Gregory VII, had aroused the greatest opposition in France. Lully himself, after having again in vain applied to Rome for help in carrying out his plans, withdrew to labor wherever an opportunity offered itself. He sought by arguments to convince the Saracens and Jews on the island of Majorca. In 1301 he went to Cyprus, and thence to Armenia, exerting himself to bring back the different schismatic parties of the Oriental Church to orthodoxy. He then visited Hippone, Algiers, and other cities on the coasts of Africa, and finally Bugia, then the seat of the Mohammedan empire. Here he publicly lectured in Arabic, proclaiming "that Christianity is the only true religion; the doctrine of Mohammed, on the contrary, false; and this he was ready to prove to every one." He was again imprisoned, but made his escape by the aid of some Genoese merchants, enduring many hardships on his journey to Europe by shipwreck. He finally reached Paris, and there resumed his lectures with great success. In 1311 the Council of Vienne, mainly by his influence, no doubt, decided that, in order to facilitate the conversion of the heathen, professors of Hebrew, Arabic, and Chaldee, two for each language, should be established at Rome, and in the universities of Paris, Oxford, Bologna, and Salamanca; those at Rome to be maintained and paid by the pope; those at Paris by the king of France, etc.; and excluded the doctrines of Averroes from the schools. But Lully could not long bear the easy but monotonous life he was leading as a teacher and philosopher; so, on August 14, 1314, he once more crossed to Africa, where, after laboring at first secretly, then openly, he was at last stoned to death by order of the king, June 30, 1315. His body was recovered by some Genoese merchants and brought back to Europe. According to another account, he was still alive when rescued, but so seriously wounded that he died in sight of his native island.
Lully appears to have been in many points in advance of his contemporaries. Although at the time of his conversion he inclined to a life of asceticism, he afterwards declared himself strongly against the monastic spirit of his age. He deplored it as a great evil that pious monks retired into solitudes, instead of giving up their lives for their brethren, and preaching the Gospel among the infidels. Concerning pilgrimages, he contrasted the gorgeous processions of the pilgrims with the entry of Christ into Jerusalem; what he did to seek men, and what they do to seek him, and exclaimed, "We see the pilgrims travelling away into distant lands to seek thee, while thou art so near that every man. if he would, might find thee in his own house and chamber.... The pilgrims are so deceived by false men, whom they meet in taverns and churches, that many of them, when they return home, show themselves to be far worse than they were when they set out on their pilgrimage." As a theologian, Lully, as we have seen from his history, was a self-taught man, not having been trained in the school of any of the great teachers of his time. The speculative and the practical were intimately blended in his mind, and so they are also in his system. "His speculative turn entered even into his enthusiasm for the cause of missions, and his zeal as an apologist. His contests, growing out of this latter interest, with the school of Averroes, with the sect proceeding from that school which affirmed the irreconcilable opposition between faith and knowledge, would naturally lead him to make the relation subsisting between these two a matter of special investigation. It is true, the enthusiasm for truth which filled his mind, the union of a fervid imagination with logical formalism, led him to form extravagant hopes of a fancied absolute method adapted to all science — applicable, also, to the truths of Christianity, and by which these truths could be demonstrated in a convincing manner to every man. Yet his writings generally abound — far more than that formal system of science, his Ars magna — in deep apologetic ideas. The enthusiasm of a most fervent love to God, a zeal equally intense for the cause of faith and the interests of reason and science, expressed themselves everywhere in his works" (Neander, Ch. Hist. 4:426).
One of his biographers states that the works of Lully numbered four thousand. Most of them are contained in an edition published at Mayvence (10 volumes, fol.), under title "Lulli Opera omnia, per Baccholium collecta, curante electore Palatino, et edita per Saltzingerum." They may be divided into four classes:
I. Works concerning the "Ars magna:" Ars generalis; Ars densonstrativa; Ars inventiva; Ars expositiva; Ars brevis; Tabula generalis; Ars magna generalis ultima (this latter was published separately, Majorca, 1647); Abor Scientiae (Barcelon. 1582); Liber Quaestionum super qualtuor libris sententiarum (Lyons, 1451); Quaestiones magistri Thomae Alubatensis solute secundum Artem (Lyons, 1451).
II. Religious works: De articulis fidei Christianae demonstrative probatis (Majorca, 1578); Controversia cum Homerio Sarraceno (Valencia, 1510); De Demonstratione Trinitatis per aequiparantiam (Valencia, 1510); Liber matalis pueri Jesu.
III. Against the Averroists: Libri duodecim Principiorum Philosophiae, contra Averrhoistas (Strasb. 1517); Philosophiae, in Averrhoistas, Expositio (Paris, 1516).
IV. The works in which he speaks of himself, as the Phantasticus (Paris, 1499), and a very curious biography of R. Lully preserved in MS. in the college of Sapientia, at Rome, and which appears to have been written by himself. To these must be added his numerous unpublished works, preserved in the Imperial Library, the libraries of the Arsenal and Ste. Genevieve, at Paris, and those of Angers, Amiens. the Esscurial, etc. We might also mention a number of works on alchemy generally attributed to him, but distinguished critics incline to the opinion that they are due to another person of the same name. Indeed, it appears certain that under the name of R. Lulle several distinct persons have been confounded together.
See Wadding, Vie de R. Lulle; Bouvelles, Epistol. in Vit. R. Lull. eremitae (Amiens, 1511); Pax, Elogium Luli (Alcala, 1519); Segni, Vie de R. Lulle (Majorca, 1605); Colletet, Vie de R. Lulle (Paris, 1646); Perroquet, Vie et Martyre du docteur illumine R. Lulle (Vendome, 1667); Vernon, Hist. de le saintete et de la doctrine de R. Lulle (Paris, 1668); Dissertacion
historica del rulto in memoril del beato R. Lulli (Majorca, 1700); Loev, De Vita R. Lulli specimen (Halle, 1800); Delecluze, Vie de R. Lulle, in the Revue des Deux Mondes, November 15, 1840; Haureau, Hist. de la Scholastique, 2; Renan, Averrhoes et l'Averrhoisme; Rousselot, Hist. philosophique dut Moyen-Age 3:76-141; Helffereich, Raymond Lull (Berl. 1858, 8vo); and especially Ritter, Gesch. d. Chrisil. Philos. 4:486 sq.; Maclear, Hist. of Christian Missions in the Middle Ages, page 354 sq.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biogr. Generale, 32:222; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8:558. (J.H.W.)