The public disputes known as Quodlibets served as important academic exercises in the medieval university. Questions on any subject put forward by anyone present were recorded with the master's responses as a series of quaestiones de quolibet, and many masters produced multiple series of quodlibetal questions from disputes conducted over a number of years. The Quodlibets of Aquinas and other later authors are edited, but the earlier Quodlibets have been available only in manuscripts, often as fragments dispersed among other philosophical and theological questions.
Some of the earliest Quodlibets are the nine from around 1240 attributed to Guerric of Saint-Quentin, one of the first Dominican masters at Paris. Although scholars who have consulted manuscripts containing his scriptural commentaries and quaestiones have credited him with significant innovations, only excerpts of his works have been printed. This volume provides a critical edition of the nine Quodlibets and additional questions from other Quodlibets attributed to Guerric but not extant in their entirety. All known manuscripts containing the texts have been used, and different versions of the individual Quodlibets are presented in parallel columns.
The various questions included even in a single Quodlibet cover not only a wide range of philosophical and theological issues but also subjects such as Christian views of Jews and Muslims and diverse topics in Church history and liturgy. To present a more coherent account of Guerric's theology than the text offers, the introduction to the edition provides a commentary on the individual questions, ordering them into the general themes of God and his creatures, angels and demons, the soul and body, Christology, moral theology, ecclesiastical matters, and eschatology. The introduction also places the texts in their historical context and compares Guerric's and Aquinas's treatments of various issues as a basis on which to assess the significance of Guerric's work.