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Henry of Ghent

d.1293. Theologian and philosopher. Born at Ghent, he became archdeacon successively of Bruges and Tournai, and taught in Paris where he became the most outstanding secular master for many years. Involved in the condemnation of aspects of Thomist teaching in Paris in 1277, he also opposed the privileges of the mendicant orders in 1282. His most famous philosophical and theological writings are Quodlibeta and his Summa Theologica. These are critical of Aristotle and produce a significant synthesis of Augustinian teaching and the new learning. Henry was an important catalyst to Duns Scotus,* who took much from him as well as criticizing him freely. Fundamental is his idea of being, and he holds that from this, rather than from the sense perceptions as Aquinas argued, God's existence can be proved.