Robert Holcot, O.P., on Prophecy, the Contingency of Revelation, and the Freedom of God
Incandela, Joseph M.
Medieval Philosophy and Theology, vol. 4 (1994)
In a recent work, William Courtenay refers to the issues in Holcot’s writings under discussion in this essay as “theological sophismata.” That they are. But it is the burden of this essay to suggest that they are more: Holcot’s interest in these questions had a fundamentally practical import, and such seemingly esoteric philosophical and theological speculation was in the service of a pastoral program geared to preaching the faith to unbelievers.
For someone in a religious order charged with this mission, questions that may initially appear only as sophismata may actually perform quite different functions when examined in context. Robert Holcot was best known in his own time as a comment tator on the Book of Wisdom. Wey writes that this work “made its author famous overnight and his fame held throughout the next two centuries.”