Simon of Tournay

Simon Of Tournay was a dialectician who taught in the University of Paris at the beginning of the 13th century, and who was among the first to apply the Aristotelian philosophy to theology. He is charged by Matthew Paris with having on one occasion interrupted his lecture, in which he had refuted certain arguments raised by himself against the doctrine of the Trinity with the exclamation "O Jesus, Jesus, how much have I done to establish and honor thy teachings! If I were to become their opponent, I could certainly attack them with yet stronger objections!" Upon this he lost both speech and memory; and though he subsequently recovered his mind to some little degree, he was unable to impress on his memory more than the Lord's Prayer and the Creed. Thomas Cantipratensis ascribes to him the crime usually attributed to the emperor Frederick II, of having said that "there are three who have deceived and oppressed the world through their sects — Moses, Christ, and Mohammed." Both writers assert, but do not adequately prove, the immorality of Simon's life. Henry of Ghent, who became a doctor of the Sorbonne in about 1280, and who held a canonry at Tournay, merely says that Simon had followed Aristotle too far, and that he was for that reason regarded by some as a heretic. None of Simon's writings have appeared in print. The list of them is given by the authors of the Hist. Litteraire de la France, 16, 393, and they state that nothing is contained in them which conflicts with the belief of the Church.

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