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Immovable Truth: Commentaries on the Bible at the Early University of Vienna

BIblical commentaries
Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 5:40 pm – 7:00 pm

On Wednesday 8 March, the Department of Medieval Studies will be welcoming Edit Anna Lukács from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) to discuss commentaries on the bible in the early years of the University of Vienna.

At the medieval university, lecturing on the Bible was one of the most ordinary, yet challenging tasks. Unlike Peter Lombard´s Sentences, the Bible was taken as Godʼs immutable words. In the fourteenth-century, this immutability was in danger: Hypotheses about a lying God, deceived Christ, changeable past, and God´s participation in sin circulated widely, especially at Oxford. At the new University of Vienna, these issues constituted the foremost challenge, to which theology had to respond. Three German masters, who all studied at the University of Paris, attempted in their lectures on the Old Testament a programmatic return to the Bible´s eternal character in working on alternative answers to the English hypotheses. The harvest of controversial times, their commentaries are the longest, most influential, and perhaps even the most inspiring commentaries on the Bible from the University of Vienna. This lecture will offer a glimpse into them through the most unusual ideas, poetic stances, apocalyptic expectations, heretics, toads, and devils, assessments of Amalric of Bena and Petrarch, and, last, but not least, the search for an immovable truth that fill their pages.

The lecture will be hybrid. For in person participation, please email: For online participation, follow this link: