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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Gabriel Biel

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GABRIEL BIEL ( c. scholastic philosopher, was born at Spires (Speier). He was the first professor of theology at the newly founded (1477) university of Tubingen, of which he was twice rector. Some years before his death he entered a religious fraternity. His work consists in the systematic development of the views of his master, William of Occam. His Epitome et Collectorium ex Occamo super libros quatuor Sententiarum (1508, 1512, and various dates) is a clear and consistent account of the nominalist doctrine, and presents the complete system of scholastic thought from that point of view. The empirical individualism of the work, tending necessarily to limit the province of reason and extend that of faith, together with scattered utterances on special points, which gained for Biel the title of Papista Antipapista, had considerable influence in giving form to the doctrines of Luther and Melanchthon. It is the best specimen of the final aspect of scholasticism. His other works also have been frequently reprinted. The title Ultimus Scholasticorum is often wrongly bestowed on Biel; scholasticism did not cease with him, even in Germany, and continued to flourish long after his time in the universities of Spain.

See Linsenmann, in Theologischen Quartalschrift (Tubingen, 1865); Stockl, Phil. d. Mittelalt. ii. § 269; H. Plitt, Gabriel Biel als Prediger (Erlangen, 1879); art. s.v. by P. Tschackert in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopddie, vol. iii. (1897); W. Roscher, Ges. d. Nationalokonomik (Munich, 1874), pp. 21-28; and works quoted under Scholasticism.

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Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Gabriel Biel'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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