Ailly, Pierre d'


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Ailly, Pierre d'

(pyĕr dāyē`), 1350–1420, French theologian and writer, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the teacher of John GersonGerson, John
(Jean Charlier de Gerson) , 1363–1429, French ecclesiastical statesman and writer. He studied (1377–94) under Pierre d'Ailly at the Univ. of Paris, where he took his doctorate in theology and succeeded Ailly as chancellor (1395).
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 and was Gerson's predecessor as chancellor of the Univ. of Paris (1385–95). Ailly figured prominently among the conciliarists working to end the Great Schism (see Schism, GreatSchism, Great,
or Schism of the West,
division in the Roman Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. There was no question of faith or practice involved; the schism was a matter of persons and politics.
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). He urged that an ecumenical council be called to name a new pope as the only means of settling the schism. He seems to have been more concerned with a practical solution than with the implications of the conciliar theory. He participated in both the Council of Pisa (see Pisa, Council ofPisa, Council of,
1409, unrecognized council of the Roman Catholic Church. It was summoned to end the Great Schism (see Schism, Great) by members of the colleges of cardinals of the two rivals, Gregory XII (in Rome) and Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna, in Avignon).
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) and the Council of Constance (see Constance, Council ofConstance, Council of,
1414–18, council of the Roman Catholic Church, some of its sessions being reckoned as the 16th ecumenical council. It was summoned to end the Great Schism (see Schism, Great), in which three men were claiming to be pope—Gregory XII (since
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). At Constance Ailly took part in the trial and condemnation of John Hus. His vast writings embrace theology, philosophy, cosmography, plans for ecclesiastical reform, and French religious verse. One of his works, the Imago mundi, an astronomical compendium, was studied by Columbus.

Bibliography

See studies by J. P. McGowan (1936) and F. Oakley (1964).