As Coordinator of the Henrici de Gandavo Opera Omnia since its beginning, it is for me an honour and a joy to present the excellent work of Professor Roland J. Teske, S.J., Professor of Philosophy at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A., which is entitled Henry of Ghent. Quodlibetal Questions on Free Will.
The publication of the volumes of the critical edition of Henry Opera Omnia by the Catholic University of Leuven ( Louvain) makes continual progress. Over the past thirteen years, thirteen volumes of the approximately forty-five anticipated volumes have already appeared. The great lines of this lofty medieval cathedral of philosophical-theological thought, critically edited in our modern time, become ever clearer, and a series of substantial parts of it have already been restored to the splendor of their original text.
Professor Teske is the first to use the critical edition of the Opera Omnia for offering the modern reader, in a great international language of our time, a volume of characteristic extracts from Henry's thought. Because Henry's thought, spread as it is over many volumes to be edited, remains on many points a "mare incognitum," an uncharted sea, Professor Teske had the wisdom to limit himself to one important area of it, namely, the human will and its freedom. We hope that other volumes in great international languages will follow his excellent example for other areas of Henry of Ghent's world of thought.
We are convinced that the numerous intellectuals of our time who read the language of Shakespeare will immediately notice how, thanks to this book, Henry's daring, profound and lofty thought on human freedom is made accessible in a way valuable to the modern reader. Professor Teske's introduction gives in a clear and succinct manner the essentials of Henry's life and writing, sketches his Quodlibetal Questions, and then indicates the major lines of his teaching in them concerning the treated theme. He then directly confronts the modern searcher after truth with some carefully selected questions from these Quodlibets, translated in a faithful and at the same time clear and handy way. Henry presented these Quodlibets and all his other works in "the beautiful style of Platonism," amid his unremitting, continuous activity during his long and successful teaching careeer at the University of Paris in the last quarter of the thirteenth century. This book clearly sets forth the fundamental views of this great thinker of the past on this important area of philosophy and thus makes them available for a balanced creative philosophical synthesis during our time.