Scotus experts gather in Duns

Brother Herbert Schneider speaking in Christ Church
Brother Herbert Schneider speaking in Christ Church

The John Duns Scotus study day at Christ Church, Duns last Saturday saw six experts present papers on the Duns born philosopher.

The scene was set for the 60 people attending by Rev Canon Anne Dyer, Rector of Holy Trinity Church Duns, whose paper outlined the system and structure of Franciscan education in 13th century Britain, explaining how John Duns Scotus was able to rise from a young boy in Duns to the foremost thinker of his time.

Professor Mary Beth Ingham of the Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego introduced key elements of John’s thought about the will, the ability to act rationally, and how this relates to contemporary thinking.

Professor Paul Starkey of the University of Durham, spoke of how the works of the Greek philosophers reached Europe through academic institutions of the Caliphate of Baghdad, and showed how John used the works of these pioneering Islamic scholars.

Professor Antoon Vos of the Evangelical Theological Faculty at Leuven, in Belgium, after laying out the evidence for John Duns Scotus having come from Duns, spoke of the pioneering importance of his work at Oxford around 1300. Dr Philip Tonner of Glasgow spoke about John’s influence on present day philosophers.

The day ended with an address by Father Herbert Schneider, of the John Duns Scotus Academy at Mönchen-Gladbach, Germany about Love being accepted as the true core of a human being.