Biographia Hibernica/James Arthur

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For works with similar titles, see James Arthur.


PROFESSOR of divinity in the university of Salamanca, was a native of Limerick, and professed himself a Dominican friar in the abbey of St. Stephen's, at Salamanca. After teaching for some years with great applause in several convents of his order, in Spain, he received the degree of Doctor in the university of Salamanca, and was appointed professor of divinity. Having filled this post with great credit, for many years, he was requested to take the first chair in the university of Coimbra, which he held with general applause till the revolution in favour of the Duke of Braganza rendered Portugal independent of the throne of Spain. But this happy change in the affairs of the nation proved fatal to the rising prospects of Arthur, for his great merit, having procured him many enemies, they made a pretence of the devotion of the new king to the immaculate conception, to prevail on that monarch to oblige all the professors of the university to swear to defend that doctrine, which, being a controverted point between the disciples of Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas, the former maintaining the affirmative, and the latter the negative, in which he was supported by the Dominicans, and Arthur, having, on his admission into the order, sworn to maintain his doctrine, on his refusal of the new oath, was deprived of his professorship, in 1642. He withdrew to the royal convent of St. Dominick, at Lisbon, where he died about the year 1670. He wrote "Commentaria in totum ferè S. Thomæ de Aquino Sumenem," in two volumes, one of which was published in 1665, folio; and, at the time of his death, he was preparing ten volumes more of the above learned work.