Мудрость святых у языческих философов: к эволюции этических взглядов Иоанна Уэльского
Franciscan theologian an industrious collector of exempla John of Wales († ca. 1285) was a forerunner of so-called “classicizing” movement within the Franciscan order. “Classicising friars” had a special concern in Antiquity and inclined to combine scholastic background and classical tradition and literature while working on educational and didactic texts. John who was definitely fascinated by lives of pagan philosophers and intended to use their stories as sources of moralising exempla, had to face a “problem of paganism” (term introduced by J. Marenbon). He felt the need to justify the application of ancient exempla in sermons.
Current article aims at tracing his arguments for the use of “pagan” exempla. As a result of analysis of John’s “-loquia” sequence, following pros were brought to light: first of all, he makes references to the authority of Church fathers and other theologians who also mentioned Seneca and other philosophers. Secondly, he stated (cunningly, of course) that whereas biblical exempla were already well-known for the preachers, he felt the need to introduce some new stories. John believed that the preacher had to have a convenient sermon for every moment, not only while preaching but for didactic talks in mensa as well. Finally, his third argument was inspired by St. Augustin who affirmed that human deeds have to be classified according to their goal or motivation (finis). So, John proved the virtuosity of pagan’s deeds by showing that this act aimed at utility (utilitas) or honour (honestas).