Widely recognized as one of the main characteristics of Latin Aristotelianism, the ‘Christianisation’ of Aristotle from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century has received as yet little attention. Aiming to answer the need for a more systematic investigation, the articles here collected approach Christian readings of the Stagirite’s works from different perspectives. Setting aside abstract discussions about ‘degrees of orthodoxy’, they address a few specific questions: which ‘images’ of Aristotle were offered by Medieval and Renaissance interpreters, and in particular how did some of them argue that – far from being a pagan or even an impious thinker – he did not contradict the truths revealed by Holy Scripture? Which strategies did they adopt to harmonize Aristotelian philosophy with Christian religion, or at least to avoid their clash? How did they conceive the task of expounding Aristotle’s thought? How did they understand and apply the distinctions, developed since the mid-thirteenth century, between the point of view of the philosophers and that of the believers, between what is true ‘speaking naturally’ and what is true ‘according to faith’? Were these distinctions – and other disclaimers or cautionary statements – effective in protecting masters that taught Aristotle’s texts from accusations of heresy? To what extent were ideas issuing from Christian theology integrated within the Peripatetic worldview, or even treated within Aristotelian commentaries?
Discussing these and related questions, the ten contributors to this volume examine relevant doctrines of outstanding thinkers – Roger Bacon (Chiara Crisciani), Siger of Brabant and Henry of Ghent (Pasquale Porro), Dante Alighieri (Gianfranco Fioravanti); offer a fine analysis of some commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics (Iacopo Costa), the Politics (Stefano Simonetta) and the libri naturales (Amos Corbini); suggest innovative interpretations of the genesis of the Liber de bona fortuna (Valérie Cordonier) and of the condemnation of 1277 (Dragos Calma); inspect minor but significant figures of the Italian Renaissance such as Ludovico Beccadelli (Pietro Rossi) and Cesare Crivellati (Luca Bianchi).