Vives, Joannes Ludovicus
De veritate fidei christianae1.250 €
De veritate fidei christianae libri V. in quibus de religionis nostrae fundamentis, contra Ethnicos, Iudaeos, Agarenos, sive Mahumetanos, & perverse Christianos plurima subtilissime simul ateque exactissime disputantur: nunc denuo in lucem editi.
Cologne, Petrus Horst, 1568.
8vo (156 x 97 mm). (12) leaves, 588 pp., (2) leaves. Later endpapers. Contemporary half pigskin, green vellum boards.
ustc 667548 (9 copies); VD16 V-1947. This edition not in Estelrich, Vives, Paris 1941; not in Adams.
„Vives‘ Swan Song“
¶ „Besides his main work De anima et vita, Vives worked intensively during the last years of his life on his ultimate creed, De veritate fidei Christiane. In this apologetic work, he discusses the relationship between faith and reason, and explicates the religious views, which ground his fundamental ideas about human nature and his psychological analysis of De anima et vita.
In the first book, Vives attempts to show that human reason ultimately facilitates acts of faith: human existence can only be meaningful if one accepts an afterlife; furthermore, he discusses the true nature of God, the creation of the world, angels and original sin. The second book is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and the incarnation of Christ, to the doctrine and divine nature of Christ, his death and resurrection, the Eucharist and the early church.
Books 3 and 4 reject Jewish theology and demonstrate the superiority of Christianity over Judaism and Islam through a dialogue between a Christian and a Jew, and a Christian and a Muslim, respectively. The latter book restates the thesis of the superiority of Christianity, the love-centred religion, and stresses the essential human value of Christian ethics.
What is striking here is that Vives carefully avoids any theological discussion of issues raised by Protestants, such as the consequences of original sin, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the supremacy of the pope.
Death prevented Vives from fully finishing his ultimate confession of faith. At the insistence of Vives‘ widow, his close friend Frans Cranevelt took charge of the introductory letter. In it, Cranevelt stresses that he did not change an iota of the text, although it is clear here and there that Vives was not able to put the finishing touches to it. Since Vives had intended to dedicate this work to the pope, Cranevelt respected this wish: he addressed his introductory letter to Vives‘ swan song to Pope Paul III.“ (Vives te Leuven. Catalogus van de tentoonstelling in de Centrale Bibliotheek te Leuven … 1993, p. 223)