Gerson, Jean le Charlier de

(1363–1429)
   Devotional Writer, Mystic and Theologian.
   Gerson was born in the Ardennes, France, and was educated at the University of Paris where he was influenced by the nominalism of william of Ockham. In 1395 he was appointed Chancellor of the University, but in 1397 he moved to Bruges and he returned to Paris only in 1401. He was the author of several mystical treatises including The Mountain of Contemplation, Mystical Theology and the Perfection of the Heart. These were much admired by such diverse figures as nicholas of cusa and Gerhard groote. He argued that the Pope did not have absolute powers and that in an emergency, a General Council had the right to call a Pope to account. These views were stated in his De Potestate Ecclesiastica. He took part in the Council of Pisa in 1409 and in the Council of Constance which deposed Popes Gregory XII, Benedict XIII and John XXIII. Because he had incurred the displeasure of the Duke of Burgundy by denouncing Jean Petit’s tyrannicidical writings, he was not allowed to return to Paris. He spent the remainder of his life in an abbey near Vienna and in seclusion in Lyons. Gerson is regarded as one of the chief theorists of the Conciliar movement and he has been described as the father of Gallicanism.
   J.L. Connolly, John Gerson, Reformer and Mystic (1928);
   J.B. Morrall, Gerson and the Great Schism (1960).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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