CORDIS - EU research results

Freedom of Teaching and Political Control: The Case of Thomas Aquinas’ Assimilation in William of Peter Godin’s Lectura Thomasina (14th C.)


The project intends to explore the speculative, historical, and political functions assumed by William of Peter Godin’s Lectura thomasina in the assimilation and teaching of Thomas Aquinas’ doctrines after the series of condemnations, censures, and corrections promulgated by some political authorities between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century. The text, still unpublished and preserved in fifteen manuscripts, does not represent a mere collection of Thomas’ dicta, but rather a sort of authorized handbook for students, which frequently replaced the direct lecture of Aquinas’ texts. In line with the educational policies, but true to Thomas’ intentions, the Lectura thomasina is an outstanding multidisciplinary document: it harmonizes speculative contents from Thomas Aquinas’ texts with political pressures and religious convinctions.
Through a comprehensive analysis of the work, a transcription of some selected passages, in which William’s reworking of censured Thomistic doctrines emerges, and, for the first time, the critical edition of a significant section of the text (Book II – distinctions I-XXII), the research will focus on the Lectura thomasina as a case study that typifies the process of assimilation and transmission of groundbreaking ideas in a specific intellectual context, when it is subjected to political or religious restrictions. Then, the text will be a gateway to access a wider investigation on the contrasts between freedom of teaching and educational policy, recurring in many other cases in European intellectual history, and it will convert a specialists’ discussion on a medieval problem into a far-reaching intellectual challenge.


Net EU contribution
€ 171 460,80
50931 Koln

See on map

Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Köln, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 171 460,80