Frassen, CLAUDE, celebrated Scotist theologian and philosopher of the Order of Friars Minor; b. near Peronne, France, in 1620; d. at Paris, February 26, 1711. He entered the Franciscan Order at Peronne in his seventeenth year; and after the year of novitiate was sent to Paris, where he completed his studies and remained for thirty years as professor of philosophy and theology. In 1662 he was made doctor of the Sorbonne, and as definitor general, to which office he was elected in 1682, he took part in the general chapters of the order at Toledo and Rome. Outside of the order his counsel was sought not only by ecclesiastics but likewise by secular dignitaries, King Louis XIV of France, in particular, holds him in high esteem. He died at the ripe old age of ninety-one years, seventy-four of which he had spent in religion. Of the writings of Frassen the best known is his “Scotus Academicus”. This work is rightly considered one of the most important and scholarly presentations of the theology of Duns Scotus. Few, if any, of the numerous interpreters and commentators of Scotus have succeeded so well as Frassen in combining simplicity of style and clearness of method with that subtleness of thought which characterizes Scotistic theology as a whole. The value of the work is enhanced by frequent quotations from the Fathers, and by an impartial statement of all controverted questions in scholastic theology. The first volume is prefaced with a chronological list and a brief historical and dogmatical account of the different heresies from the beginnings of Christianity to the fifteenth century. The latest edition of the “Scotus Academicus”, published by the Friars Minor (Rome, 1900-02) in twelve volumes, was prepared from notes left by the author himself and preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris. Earlier editions were those of Paris (1672-77), Rome (1721), and Venice (1744). Frassen is also the author of a “Cursus Philosophiae”, published at Paris in 1688 at Venice in 1767. On Scripture, he wrote a “Diquisitiones Biblicae”, vol. I (Paris, 1682); vol. II: “Disquisitiones in Pentateuchum” (Rouen, 1705).
STEPHEN M. DONOVAN