On Original Sin ; And, a Disputation with the Jew, Leo, concerning the Advent of Christ, the Son of God: Two Theological Treatises

On Original Sin ; And, a Disputation with the Jew, Leo, concerning the Advent of Christ, the Son of God: Two Theological Treatises

On Original Sin ; And, a Disputation with the Jew, Leo, concerning the Advent of Christ, the Son of God: Two Theological Treatises

On Original Sin ; And, a Disputation with the Jew, Leo, concerning the Advent of Christ, the Son of God: Two Theological Treatises

Synopsis

To his contemporaries, Odo of Tournai-master of the cathedral school of Tournai, first abbot of the restored monastery of St. Martin of Tournai, and, later, Bishop of Cambrai-was one of the most illustrious teachers and philosophers in Christendom. Yet only one of his works, a treatise on the Mass, has heretofore been translated into English. Irven M. Resnick here provides the first English-language translation of two of Odo's other works.

The first, On Original Sin, is at once an exposition of Christian doctrine and a philosophical investigation into the origin of the soul, the character of the sin that all human beings inherit from Adam, and the relationship of the individual to the species. The second translated text, A Disputation with the Jew, Leo, Concerning the Advent of Christ, the Son of God, continues the discussion, in dialogue form, of original sin and its effects.

Excerpt

Odo of Tournai (d. 1113) -- or, sometimes, Odo of Cambrai or Odo of Orléans -- was born soon after A.D. 1060 in Orléans, during the reign of King Philip I of France. While still a young man in his twenties Odo's career flourished as a secular master (magister) at the cathedral chools of Toul and Tournai. Later, he embarked upon the religious life, first as a canon of St. Augustine and then as the first abbot of the restored monastery of St. Martin of Tournai. At the conclusion of his brief but distinguished ecclesiastical career, he ascended the episcopal throne as Bishop of Cambrai (1105-1113). These positions not only placed Odo in contact with important persons and events during a troubled period in the history of Empire and Church, but also provided for him access to new intellectual currents of the day. Here he was not merely a passive recipient of new ideas, but was himself a contributor to the cultural flowering that marks the renaissance of the twelfth century.

Regrettably, we know very little about Odo prior to his arrival at Tournai in the 1080s. We are largely dependent upon two contemporary -- or nearly contemporary -- sources for our information: the Liber restaurationis Sancti Martini Tornacensis, which was written between 1142 and 1146 by Herman, third abbot of the monastery of St. Martin of Tournai; and a work entitled De Odonis episcopi Cameracensis vita vel moribus, written by Amand du Chastel (Amandus de Castello). Amand was received at St. Martin's in 1095 by Odo and later became prior at Anchin (Aquicinctinus), where Odo died in 1113. Herman's history, although written three decades after Odo's death, is nevertheless the more complete and more important of these two sources. Herman's father, Radulf, and his mother, Mainsend, came from the knightly class. Radulf and his four young sons entered the monastery of St. Martin of Tournai during Odo's abbacy. His wife, Mainsend, a powerful and wealthy woman, was likewise received into the religious life by Odo, and entered a monastic foundation he established . . .

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