Questio quotlibetica de effectibus quos consuetudo operat[ur] in foro conscientiae.

[Antwerp, Michael Hillenius Hoochstratanus, 1520.]


FIRST EDITION. 4to. 15 unnumbered ll., A-D 4 , lacking D 4 (final blank). Woodcut initial. T- p a bit dusty, very rare marginal spotting. A very good copy in modern boards, the odd early annotation.

Very good copy of this scarce theological pamphlet on the effects of ‘ecclesiastical custom’ on Christian conscience. Ruard Tapper (or Tappart, 1487-1559) was a Catholic theologian, dean of St Peter’s Church and chancellor of the university at Leuven; he was also an eminent, notoriously ruthless inquisitor. Delivered as a lecture at Leuven in 1520, ‘Questio’ focuses on the concept of ‘consuetudo’—which may mean ‘action carried out frequently’, ‘law drawn from customary actions’ and, to canon law experts addressed in this work, an ‘ecclesiastical custom’ which is binding to the individual and the community. ‘Questio’ examines the tensions between ecclesiastical and natural (i.e., traditional, non-ecclesiastical) customs, and how even socially-radicated ecclesiastical customs may go against regulations determined by canonical authority in the course of the centuries. In particular, it focuses on the effects of these tensions on the conscience of individuals who may defy ecclesiastical custom in private—e.g., perceiving one’s marriage as null despite its validity—whilst respecting it in public.

No copies recorded in the US.

USTC 437145; Nijhoff & Kronenberg 3917. Not in BM STC Dutch., Brunet or Graesse.