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Édouard Jeauneau (1924-2019)

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

Édouard Jeauneau in his office at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto (Photo by Dr. Suan-See Foo).

Nani gigantum humeris insidentes. The metaphor attributed to the 12th-century Master Bernard of Chartres came to mind upon receiving the news of the death of Father Édouard Jeauneau.

Father Jeauneau, canon of the cathedral of Chartres, directeur de recherche honoraire at the Centre national de recherche scientifique, professor of philosophy (1975–1990) at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, built an transcontinental academic career on the thought of medieval philosophers from the ninth to the twelfth century. He published over a dozen books and numerous essays and articles. His small introductory work Philosophie médiévale for the series “Que sais-je ?” with four editions, each reprinted many times, was the starting point for many a student in medieval studies. His five-volume critical edition of Iohannes Scottus Eriugena’s Periphyseon (CM 161-165) was his masterpiece and most celebrated work.

He further published Eriugena’s Latin translation of Maximus the Confessor’s Ambigua ad Iohannem (SG 18), a volume on the Autograph of Eriugena (with Paul Dutton, AMA 3) and Eriugena’s Homily and Commentary on the Gospel of John (CM 166). He also edited William of Conches’ Glosae super Platonem in the CC CM sub-series of which he was the director (CM 203). His collected essays on Eriugena and the School of Chartres were published in Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia 47.

Edouard Jeauneau died in the early morning of 10 December 2019 in the Hôpital Louis-Pasteur in Chartres. He was 95 years old. “Tendenda vela”, a giant has gone.

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