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PÉTAU, Denis (Dionysius PETAVIUS).

Dissertationum ecclesiasticarum libri duo, in quibus de episcoporum dignitate, ac potestate; deque aliis ecclesiasticis dogmatibus disputatur.

      Sebastien Cramoisy,, Paris, 1641 - 8vo. Contemporary full red morocco with triple gilt filets along sides and in center of covers with gilt cornerpieces, spine richly gilt in compartments with title lettered in gold, gilt and decorated binding edges, marbled endpapers, g.e. Engraved vignette on title, woodcut head- and endpieces, woodcut initials. (24), 354, (8, last blank fol. lacking) pp. Original edition of this controversial work by Denis Pétau, containing the results of his research on the functioning of Christian clerical authorities (bishops) from the time of the Church Fathers on, followed by different dogmatic questions. The text contains many citations from Latin and Greek Fathers. Denis Pétau, (1583-1652) was a French Jesuit theologian who earned a Master of Arts in Greek at the University of Paris, where he became friends with Isaac Casaubon, then librarian at the royal library, where he spent all his spare time studying the ancient Greek manuscripts. At Orléans he was ordained deacon and presented with a canonry. In 1603 he was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Bourges, but resigned his place two years later, in order to enter the Society of Jesus and he returned to Paris. During his following stay at the Collège de Clermont at Paris (1618) he began a correspondence with the Bishop of Orléans, Gabriel de Laubépine (Albaspinaeus). Beginning in 1622, he taught positive theology for twenty-two years, and during this time he left France on only two occasions: first in 1629, to teach ecclesiastical history at Madrid at the invitation of Philip IV; and in 1639 to become a cardinal at Rome where Pope Urban VIII wanted him. At sixty years of age he stopped teaching, but retained his office of librarian, and devoted the rest of his life to his great work, the Dogmata theologica, in the fourth volume of which our present work is reprinted. Petavius was a prodigious author and one of the most brilliant scholars in a learned age. Carrying on and improving the chronological labours of Joseph Justus Scaliger, he published in 1627 an Opus de doctrina temporum, which has been often reprinted.The complete list of his works fills twenty-five columns in Sommervogel: he treats of chronology, history, philosophy, patristics, and the history of dogma. About the same time he wrote poetical works in Greek and in Latin and dissertations (often of a polemical nature) against Grotius, Saumaise, Arnauld, and others. Finally there appeared in 1643 the first three volumes of the Dogmata theologica (dated 1644); the fourth and fifth volumes were published in 1650; the work was incomplete at Pétau's death, and despite several attempts was never continued. Numerous editions of the Dogmata theologica have been published, including that by the Calvinist Jean Le Clerc, published in Antwerp in 1700;Petau's claim to fame chiefly rests on his vast, but unfinished work on the Dogmata, the first systematic attempt ever made to treat the development of Christian doctrine from the historical point of view. The reputation Pétau enjoyed during his lifetime was especially due to his work on chronology but the great glory, which in the eyes of posterity surrounds the name of Pétau, is due to his patristic works and his importance in the history of dogma. With good reason he may be styled the 'Father of the History of Dogma'. The success of his work in this sphere was slow to make itself felt - it brought upon the author accusations even from within his order - but it was highly esteemed by his pupils and far-seeing friends (e.g., Valois and Huet). It was attacked in the same year 1641 by Claude Saumaise in Leiden in his Walonis Messalini De episcopis et presbyteris contra D. Petavium dissertatio prima.The work is dedicated to the famous Cardinal De Richelieu and is divided in two parts: (1; pp. 1-160) 'Qui est de episcopis, & eorum jurisdictione, ac dignitate' , the very delicate subject of the authority of bishops, so important for the relations between Catholics and Protestants; [Attributes: Hard Cover]

      [Bookseller: Antiquariaat FORUM BV]
Last Found On: 2012-03-17          Check current availability from:     AbeBooks


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