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godescalus) (c.805-869. Theologian and monk. He was compelled by his father, the Saxon Count Bruno, to enter the Benedictine abbey of Fulda. The Synod of Mainz (829) released him from his vows, but this dispensation was canceled on an objection by Rabanus Maurus,* the newly elected abbot, and he was moved to the Franciscan monastery of Orbais. He devoted himself to theological study, particularly to the teaching of Augustine and Fulgentius on predestination. He appears to have been the first to teach “double predestination,” i.e., the elect are predestined “freely” to bliss, while the wicked are predestined “justly” to condemnation, on foreknowledge of their guilt.

Gottschalk was opposed by Rabanus Maurus, whom he charged with Semi-Pelagianism, and by Hincmar, archbishop of Reims, who accused him of denying the universal saving will of God as well as human free will. He was defended by Walafrid Strabo, Prudentius of Troyes, Servatus Lupus, Ratramnus, and others, but was condemned by the Synods of Mainz (848) and Quiercy (849), deprived of priesthood, flogged, and imprisoned for life at the monastery of Hautvilliers. There he continued his controversy with Hincmar, accusing him of Sabellianism, and expounded his own views in two confessions. He died unreconciled in a disturbed mental state as a result of his privations. He was also a lyric poet, and is accepted as the author of the The Eclogue of Theodolus, a colloquy between Truth and Falsehood, with Reason as umpire. Falsehood cites incidents from pagan mythology, giving a quatrain to each. Truth caps every incident with a contrast from Scripture. The work survived as a school book into the Renaissance period.

See K. Vielhaber, Gottschalk der Sachse (1956).