Alexander of Hales

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Alexander Hales( 1185;d-1245)(also Halensis, Alensis, Halesius, Alesius;)also called Doctor Irrefragabilis(made by Pope Alexander IV in the Bull De Fontibus Paradisi. and Theologorum Monarcha was a notable thinker important in the history of scholasticism and the Franciscan School .



Alexander was born at Hales (today Halesowen, West Midlands), Shropshire,England between 1180 and 1186. He had come from a rather wealthy country family. Alexander had gone to Paris in order to study the arts. After he had studied in Paris, he had become a master of arts sometime before 1210.[1] He had been made a canon of St. Paul in London later, and by 1231 was and Archdeacon of Coventry. At the age of 50 (ca. 1236-37), he had made the most significant change of his life and entered the Franciscan order. He had further become the first Franciscan to hold a University chair. Alexander had died in Paris, France on August 21, 1245, but before passing he had resigned his chair in favour of Jean de la Rochelle.

In being the first Franciscan to hold a choir at the University of Paris, he had been the teacher of many significant disciples, most notably Bonaventure. Bonaventure referred to Alexander as his "father and master" and wished to "follow in his footsteps"[2]. Other disciples of include, Richard Rufus of Cornwall and Jean de la Rochelle.


Alexander is known for reflecting the works of several other Middle Age thinkers, especially that of Saint Anselm, and Saint Augustine. He is also known to quote thinkers such as Saint Bernard, and Richard of Saint-Victor. He differs from those in his genre as he his known to reflect his own interests and those of his generation[3]. When using the words of his authorities Alexander does not review their reasoning but also gives conclusions, expands on them, and offers his agreements and disagreement with them[4]. He was also different in that his Pre-Lombardian figures, and use of Anselm of Canterbury and Bernard of Clairvaux works were not cited as frequently by other 12th century scholastics[5]. Aristotle is also quite frequently quoted in Alexander's works. Alexander was fascinated by Pseudo-Dionysian hierarchy of angels and in how their nature can be understood, given Aristotelian metaphysics[6].

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