Louis-Jacques Bataillon, O.P.

Father Louis-Jacques Bataillon, O.P., of the Province of France, died today in Paris at the age of 94. A member of the Leonine Commission, he was a great specialist in medieval sermons, focusing in particular on the preaching of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon him.

A reviewer of one of his books describes his work: “Regular readers of Bataillon’s highly respected Bulletin d’Histoire des doctrines médiévales, which has appeared annually in the Revue des Sciences philosophiques et théologiques since 1959, will be very pleased by this publication of a series of his articles on thirteenth-century preaching in France and in Italy. At one time a member of the “École du Saulchoir,” the theological research center of French Dominicans made famous by the publications of Congar and Chenu, Bataillon subsequently joined another brilliant team of scholars, the Leonine commission, whose task it is to produce a critical edition of the writings of Thomas Aquinas. The recent publications of this edition have been hailed as among the best ever produced by medieval specialists. Aside from being one of the main photographers and collectors of microfilms for this edition, Bataillon—who likely has seen and read more manuscripts than any medieval scholar—is chiefly responsible for the editing of Aquinas’s sermons. Expert in paleography and philology, his vast acquaintance with medieval sermons—there are some ten thousand extant—has gained him the accolade of dean of this rapidly burgeoning and, until recently, neglected field of studies.” (Paul Lachance, O.F.M. in Church History)

Some publications by Fr. Bataillon:

“Un sermon de saint Thomas d’Aquin sur la parabole du festin,” RSPT 58 (1974) 451–56.

“Approaches to the Study of Medieval Sermons,” Leeds Studies in English 11 (1980) 19-35.

“Le sermon inédit de saint Thomas, Homo quidam fecit cenam magnam: Introduction et édition,” RSPT 67 (1983) 353–68.

“Similitudines et exempla dans les sermons du XIIIe sičcle,” in The Bible in the Medieval World: Essays in memory of Beryl Smalley, ed. K. Walsh & D. Wood, SChH, Subsidia 4 (Oxford, 1985) 191-205.

“Les sermons attribués à saint Thomas: Questions d’authenticité” in Thomas von Aquin, ed. Albert Zimmermann, Miscellanea Mediaevalia 19 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1988) 325–41.

“Sermons rédigés, sermons réportés (XIIIe sičcle),” Medioevo e Rinascimento 3 (1989) 69-86.

“Early Scholastic and Mendicant Preaching as Exegesis of Scripture,” in Ad Litteram. Authoritative Texts and Their Medieval Readers, ed. Mark D. Jordan & Kent Emery jr. (Notre Dame-London, 1992) 165-198.

La Predication au XIIIe siècle en France et Italie: études et documents (Variorum, 1993).

“Sermoni e orazioni d’ambiente universitario parigino nel sec. XIII,” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 5 (1994) 297-329.

“Béatitudes et types de sainteté,” Revue Mabillon 7 (1996) 79–104.

“L’activité intellectuelle des Dominicains de la première génération,” in S. LUSIGNAN et M. PAULMIER-FOUCART, Lector et Compilator. Vincent de Beauvais, frère prêcheur: Un intellectuel et son milieu au XIIIe siècle (Éditions Créaphis, Grâne, 1997) 9-19.

“Les sermons du franciscain Bindo da Siena pour les dimanches,” Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 92 (1999) 95-116.

“Chronique de doctrines médiévales: Étude et prédication,” RSPT 84 (2000) 357-366.

Video: intervention de L. J. Bataillon autour de l’exemplum biblique (source: Pecia)

More testimony from those who knew and worked with Fr. Bataillon at the Province of France, Sermones.net, Thomistica.net and The International Medieval Sermon Studies Society