Quodlibetal Questions I: Bill Wood

In the medieval university, masters would sometimes engage in a special form of disputation, the “quodlibetal question.” (That’s basically fancy medieval speak for “ask me anything.”) According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

quodlibetal questions, (quodlibet = any whatever) differed from ordinary disputations in that they were open to the broader public… The questions were not set by the master but could be posed by any member of the audience and without any prior notice to the master who would determine the question. These questions might reflect contemporary controversies or might be designed to pose a question that brought to the fore a difficulty for the particular master of whom it is asked because of his other stated views.

For a while now I have been mulling over the possibility of running a quodlibetal questions lecture course. (I like the challenge.) Recently co-blogger John Ritzema made the excellent suggestion that the blog should periodically host quodlibetal questions. Eventually, we hope to make this a regular feature in which scholars from outside Oriel, and even outside Oxford, take questions from the blog’s readership. But things have to start somewhere, and they might as well start with me.

So: ask me anything! Well, any reasonably academic question, anyway… You can ask questions in the comments to this post, or on the Oriel Facebook page. After a few days, I will pick about five questions and then respond to them with successive posts on the blog.


14 thoughts on “Quodlibetal Questions I: Bill Wood

  1. Great idea, Bill and John! Here is my question: Which (or what, if you have a new idea) is the most successful argument for the existence of God?


  2. How can philosophical analysis best serve ecumenical reconciliation?

    Should concerns of justice be given a place in the practise of academic theology?


  3. Great idea. Here’s mine: What is the ongoing theological importance of the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed?


  4. Is the theory of Universal Salvation theologically defensible, if one is concerned about compatibility with Scripture and the historical tradition? If so, why is it a fairly unpopular option prior to the modern era?


  5. What should an orthodox mariology look like?

    How and why is the Bible authoritative for your own theological work?

    It’s the early 1550s. You’re an Oriel theology don. Do you conform with Edward VI’s reformation or not?


  6. Thanks for your interest, @MedievTheology. I have read some chapters of some distinctions of some books of the Sentences, and also some commentaries thereupon.


  7. A more basic simplicity question: why isn’t a simple God deader than a doorknob?

    Also, although it may well have been originally intended this way, I would like explicitly to add ‘(in practice)’ on to the end of John’s mariology question.

    And finally, can the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church on earth be identified with any extant, visibly unified Christian community, and why/not?


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