NEW YORK — Louis B. Pascoe, S.J., professor emeritus of history at Fordham University, examines the life and work of Pierre d’Ailly (1351-1420) in his book Church and Reform: Bishops, Theologians, and Canon Lawyers in the Thought of Pierre d’Ailly (E.J. Brill, 2005).
A theologian and chancellor at the University of Paris in the late 14th century, d’Ailly became a bishop of Cambrai in 1397 and a cardinal in 1411. He is highly regarded as an ecclesiastical statesman in large part for his moderate stance during the deliberations at the Council of Constance, 1414-1418. This council sought to resolve the Great Schism, which, as a result of the controversial papal election in 1378, had resulted in dual and later even triple claimants to the papal office.
“This study highlights not only d’Ailly’s ecclesiological views on bishops, theologians and canon lawyers,” said Father Pascoe, “but also the apocalyptic, evangelical, reformative and pastoral dimensions of these offices, which allows us to place him more accurately within the broader context of the vitality of the late medieval church.”
The book is part of a series published by E.J. Brill titled Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions: History, Culture, Religion, Ideas. Father Pascoe’s earlier publications include Jean Gerson: Principles of Church Reform (E.J. Brill, 1973), and articles in The Catholic Historical Review, Traditio, Viator, Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum and Medieval Studies. In addition, Reform and Renewal in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Studies in Honor of Louis B. Pascoe, S.J. (E.J. Brill, 2000), was published in the series Studies in the History of Christian Thought.