John of Ripa

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John of Ripa was born in Ripatransone in Italy, probably in the early fourteenth century, and lectured on the Sentences of Peter Lombard in Paris in the first half of the XIV century. In Paris, where he was an acknowledged master, John came in touch with the doctrine of previous Parisian masters, he studied in depth the works of Duns Scotus, and knew the positions of the English theologians. The questions that John deals with are sometimes taken by the contemporary debate, like the question about the beatific vision, which was an highly disputed theme at the Papal court in Avignon. His production is not big quantitatively, but remarkable qualitatively.

His writings include The Commentary (plus some reportationes) on the Sentences. John lectured on all the four books of the Sentences. However, the Commentary on the First book dominates in the extent, complexity and richness of its themes. In particular, the Prologue to the Lectura on the First of the Sentences is an extensive and deep coverage of his fundamental positions on the metaphysics of the form, the epistemology, the gnoseology and the theory of the beatific vision. The main body of his Commentary on the first book of the Sentences deals with the distinction and the relationships between the divine persons; in particular, it is in this section of his commentary that John shows himself as a Duns Scotus, and it is characteristic his use of the doctrine of the formal distinction.

Primary sources

  • Super Primum sententiarum : prologi critical edition by Andre Combes, Paris : J. Vrin, 1961-1970. Contents [v. 1]Quaestiones I & II -- [v. 2] Quaestiones ultimae. Notes Vol. 2 edited "avec la collaboration de Francis Ruello."

Secondary sources