Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

An Averroistic philosopher, theologian, and political writer of the fourteenth century. John of Janduno (Johannes de Genduno, de Ganduno, and de Gandavo) and John of Gand (or less correctly, of Ghent ) are now generally said to have been two different persons. The former was born about the year 1300, graduated in arts at the College of Navarre ( University of Paris ), wrote a work entitled "De Laudibus Parisiis," and, in collaboration with Marsilius of Padua, composed the celebrated "Defensor pacis," directed against Pope John XXII , for which the authors were condemned in 1327. John of Gand was born about 1270 or 1280, studied theology at the Sorbonne, and after having served as curé at Kieldrecht was made a canon of the cathedral of Paris. These facts seem to be clearly established. However, there are extant a number of works, mostly philosophical, which are ascribed to Johannes de Genduno, Ganduno, or Gandavo, and it is difficult to say whether they were written by John of Janduno or by John of Gand.

These works include commentaries on Peter Lombard's "Books of Sentences," on Aristotle's "Physics," "Metaphysics," and "The Soul," also a treatise entitled "Quaestio in Averroem de substantia orbis." The author is strongly inclined towards the doctrines of Averroes. He defends the principle of twofold truth, according to which what is false in philosophy may be true in theology, or vice versa. Thus, he says, the eternity of the world is demonstrated in philosophy to be true and yet in theology it is false ; according to this principle, we are to believe that the world was made, while we know that it was not made. Again, he holds the Averroistic doctrine that there is only one intellect, which is common to all men, and is in no sense a part of the individual soul. Consequently, he is obliged to maintain that the immortality of the individual soul cannot be proved in philosophy. In his discussion of the nature and operations of the human mind he takes sides with the determinists, who deny that the will is free. Finally, the Averroist author of these commentaries is no friend of the Thomistic school. He tries to belittle the reputation of St. Thomas, and to prove him inferior to Averroes. Considering, therefore, the spirit and tendency of these works, one is inclined to assign them to the turbulent, anti-papal author of the "Defensor pacis," and not to the theologian and canon who, for all we know, troubled himself as little about the intellectual warfare going on between Thomists and Averroists as he did about the political conflict between Pope John XXII and Louis of Bavaria. The commentaries mentioned above and the "Quaestio" were published in Venice, 1497, 1525, etc.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2016 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his ... Read More