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John Duns Scotus


(The Subtle Doctor)

c.1265 - 1308

Philosopher and theologian. Scotus was most-likely born in Duns, Berwickshire, probably began his education at Melrose Abbey and certainly studied within the Franciscan community at Greyfriars Hall, Oxford. He taught there and in Paris and Cologne. An intelligent philosopher, he developed a school of thought which became known as Scotism which dominated the teaching of Roman Catholic theology across Europe until the 18th century.

He was renowned for his scepticism, which led to the word "Dunses" or "Dunces" being used to describe those who were regarded as not being very clever. Despite this misrepresentation, Scotus had considerable influence on the Roman Catholic Church and, in 1991, the Vatican elevated Scotus to the status of "venerable", the first step on the route to Saint-hood. He was beatified in 1993 by Pope John Paul II.


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