It is the 6th of August 2021 Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org, I’m Dan van Voorhis.
Last year OTD we told you the story of St. Dominic, founder of the very influential Dominican Order. Today on the day so many devote to remembering St. Dominic we will count down some of our favorite and most significant Dominicans. Please note my tongue will slide into my cheek a few times- this is not meant as a definitive count down nor should it be used for gambling purposes.
Not “worst” but we will call them dishonorable mentions
Johann Tetzel- the televangelist before television. Even his own Catholic pals were doing facepalms “a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs”
Heinrich Kramer- the author of the textbook for hunting witches, the Malleus Mallificorum
Savonarola- the wild prophet of Florence who displaced the DeMedici before being burned at the stake
Authors and Artists
Fra Angelico- known as Fra Giovanni in his lifetime, the “Angelic” painter from Florence is perhaps the premier painter of the early Renaissance
Giordano Bruno- a priest and philosopher who was burned at the stake for his advocacy of the Copernican system and opposition to the Inquisition.
Tommaso Campanella- a priest, defender of Galileo, and author of the City of the Sun (a massively influential novel in the new Utopian genre)
Catherine of Sienna- born during the Black Death she would write and minister to the poor but also was active in church affairs and helped to end the Avignon Papacy. Also named a Doctor of the Church.
Johannes Tauler- also living during the Black Death, this rugged German mystic inspired many late medieval Mystics with his practical rather than speculative theology.
Bartolome De Las Casas- we discussed him recently on the show. The Apostle to the Indians his work shined a light on the atrocities committed by Western Christians on New World natives.
Pope Pius V- Thrust into the position at the height of the Reformation he was responsible for promoting a counter-Reformation and calling the Council of Trent
Martin Bucer- a Dominican in the 16th century who heard Luther in Heidelberg and decided to join the Reform movement. He was the glue that helped hold together the empire-wide Reform in the early years of the movement.
Theologians and Philosophers
This is where the Dominicans tower over the others. These two men are in the top 10 most significant theologians of all time.
Albertus Magnus- almost single-handedly united the study of the natural sciences and theology. Taught Aristotle at the University of Paris. Albert “the Great” would probably be the most famous Dominican theologian if not for his student….
Thomas Aquinas- love him or hate him, I’m pretty sure you haven’t read all of him. One of the most prolific theologians, St. Thomas systematized western, Latin theology. Sure, maybe he “baptized” Aristotle and that led to an undue reliance in the west on Natural Theology BUT, that’s just one particular view.
There you have it. The greatest Blackfriars. The fruit of St. Dominic and the Dominican Order.
The last word for today comes from St. Paul in 1st Corinthians:
A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good. 8 A word of wisdom is given by the Spirit to one person, a word of knowledge to another according to the same Spirit, 9 faith to still another by the same Spirit, gifts of healing to another in the one Spirit, 10 performance of miracles to another, prophecy to another, the ability to tell spirits apart to another, different kinds of tongues to another, and the interpretation of the tongues to another. 11 All these things are produced by the one and same Spirit who gives what he wants to each person.
This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 6th of August 2021 brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org.
The show is produced by a man with the spiritual gift of fabulousness Christopher Gillespie.
The show is written and read by a man with the spiritual gift of making mixtapes, I am Dan van Voorhis.
You can catch us here every day- and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be ok.