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Joannes Bunderius

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A Flemish theologian and controversialist, born of distinguished parents at Ghent in 1482; died there 8 January, 1557. He entered the Dominican Order in his native city about 1500, and after having made his religious profession was sent to Louvain to pursue his studies in philosophy and theology. He obtained the degree of Lector in Sacred Theology, and in 1517 returned to Ghent, where, until near the close of his life, he taught philosophy and theology. While occupied in teaching he filled the office of prior of the convent of Ghent three times (1529-35; 1550-53), and discharged the duties of General Inquisitor of the Diocese of Tournai. As inquisitor he was untiring in his efforts to check the spread of the errors that were being disseminated by Lutherans, Calvinists, and Mennonites ; but always used prudence in his dealings with heretics. Long training in the schools and the experience he had gained as the professor of theology fitted him especially well to explain and defend Catholic doctrine, and to detect and expose the errors of heretical teaching. While prior of the convent of Ghent for the first time, he formed a federation of religious orders in that city for the safeguarding of the faith of the people and of the preservation of the rights of the Church and the privileges of the orders. In recognition of his ability as a preacher and as a reward for his long labours in the pulpit a general chapter of his order conferred upon him the degree of Preacher General. Of his writings, which are nearly all of a polemical character, the most worthy of note are:

  • "Compendium dissidii quorundam hereticorum" (Paris, 1540-43, 1545);
  • "Compendium concertationis hujus saeculi sapientium et theologorum" (Paris, 1549, Venice, 1553, etc). After the author's death, this work was frequently published under the title: "Compendium rerum theologarum, quae hodie in controversia agitantur";
  • "Detectio nugarum Lutheri cum declaratione veritatis Catholicae (Louvain, 1551);
  • "De Vero Christi baptismo contra Mennonem Anabaptistarum principe" (Louvain, 1553).

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