Lombard’s Sentences, to be taught for 1st time since Middle Ages


ScholasticTheologyFor the first time since the Middle Ages, the Sentences of Peter Lombard will be taught at the University Level as a graduate level course towards a Masters in Scholastic Method.

This epoch making event for the Academic world will take place at The Scholasticum, a nascent institute of Medieval Studies, headquartered at Bagnoregio, Italy.

The course, which will be taught on live Video-Conference, with GotoMeeting, so that students may participate from anywhere in the world, will start on October 5, 2016 and end on January 27, 2017, and be taught from 3 to 7 pm Rome time. The text of discussion will be the Primus Liber Sententiarum Petri Lombardi, which contains his sentences De Deo Uno et Trino. In the Spring, the second book will be discussed.

The novel method of instruction, which will emphasize acquiring a profound and firm grasp of the Scholastic Method of disputation, will be conducted thuswise:

1) The faculty serving as the magistri in iudicio will meet weekly in private to determine the questions to be asked in regard to each Distinction of Lombard’ text.

2) The students will be divided into 2 groups or teams, called “choirs”.

3) One choir will take the pro all the odd numbered questions, and the other the pro on the even, and vice versa, the one the contra for the even and the other the contra for the odd.

4) Each choir shall elect a subdeacon, who is the team leader, so to say.

5) Subdeacons communicate with the magistri and those doing the Responsiones, the Sententiarii, who will be chosen among the more prepared students and those who intend to go on to the Magister Sacrae Doctrinae cycle, at the end of 2 years.

6) Subdeacons parcel out the arguments pro and contra for each question to each student, e. g. you do 1 arg pro for q 1, and 1 pro for q. 3, but you over there do 1 arg contra for q. 2 and for q. 4.

7) Students can do 4 kinds of arguments for the pro or contra:  an ad exemplum and an ex exemplo, a coloratio and an ex novo. Each kind of argument is graded according to a specific criteria for points. Each shall write his argument in Latin and in a good vernacular translation, and footnote it.  Students draw their arguments principally from the writings of Saints Thomas Aquinas (Scriptum super Sententias) and Bonaventure (Commentaria in Quatuor Libros Sententiarum), each of which together with Lombard’s text are the textbooks of the course.

8) When the args are prepared the subdeacon communicates them to the magistri and the Sententiarius (student doing that specific responsio)

9) The Sententiarius writes up his responsio, in Latin and 1 vernacular language, and responds to all the args opposed to his position.

10) Students meet on settled day, read the Distinction from Lombard, and then give arguments pro and contra and responsio out loud in class to each question.   The Magistri of the day read the points awarded for each student for specific work out-loud in front of all so all may know the quality of the work of each.

11) Students contributions are collected in a progressive archive as a Commentarium apud Aulum for future reference.

12) Magistri from time to time give general instructions, interventions, corrections, precisions.

13) At end of semester, magistri tally the points awarded each student and give a grade.

The Quaestiones disputatae are a separate course, though they are included in the 1 time student fee for the Sentences. In these, each student selects a topic and writes up on his own a number of Questiones and Responses with all arguments pro and contra, to demonstrate his grasp of the scholastic method. The Questions chosen must pertain to the topic of the Book of Lombard under discussion during that semester, but may regard either theology or philosophy or another medieval science as the case may  be. Each student may chose 1 academic as his tutor to prepare his Quaestiones. The best works will be read alound in a special academic ceremony as indicated in our Institute’s Academic Calendar (see our Annuario Accademico, final pages — Available from our Registrar’s Page).

The student expense requested will be € 2500 euro per semester. Enrollment will be limited to 16 students, on a first come basis. Students must have either a B.A./S.T.B. in Philosophy or Theology or the equivalent. Proficiency in Latin is required. The course is 20 ECTS, and its fee includes 8 ECTS of electives, and the 2 ETCs Quaestiones disputatae course. The entire cycle is 2 years each of 2 semesters of 30 Ects: or 120 ECTs total.

To register for this course, contact the Registrar’s Office via the Registrar’s Page on our website.