BÁÑEZ Domingo—theologian and philosophy, coauthor of a theological system based on the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas called Banezianism, b. February 29, 1528,in Medina de Campo (Valladolid), d. October 21, 1604 in Medina de Campo.
At 15 years of age he began studies in the liberal arts in Salamanca. Upon completing these studies he entered the Dominicans and took his perpetual vows in the convent of San Esteban. From 1548 to 1552 he studied theology under famous scholars such as Melchior Cano (around 1509–1560) and Pedro de Soto (1494–1560). He earned his doctorate at the University of Sigenza (1565). Next he lectured at the University of Alcala (1567–1568). From approximately 1561 to 1582 he was St. Theresa of Avila’s spiritual director and confessor. In 1577 he held the “Durando” chair in Salamanca, and in 1581 he held the new chair of theology. He held the chair until 1599.
Báñez’ greatest works are: Relectio de merito et augmento caritatis (Sal 1590); Apologia fratrum praedicatorum […] adversus novas quasdam assertiones cuiusdam doctoris Ludovici Molinae nuncupati (Ma 1595); De vera et legitima concordia liberi arbitrii cum auxiliis gratiae Dei moventis humanam voluntatem (Ma 1600). He also wrote lectures and commentaries on the Summa theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas that were collected in the following volumes after Báñez’ death: Commentarius in libros Aristotelis De generatione et corruptione (Sal 1585); Institutiones minoris dialecticae (Kö 1599), and after his death: in Latin—Scholastica commentaria in primam partem Summae Theologiae, ed. L. Urbano (I–IV, Ma 1944), and in Spanish—Comentarios inéditos a la Prima Secundae de Santo Tomás, ed. V. Beltrán de Heredia (I–III, Sal 1944–1948); Comentarios inéditos a la Tercera Parte de Santo Tomás, ed. V. Beltrán de Heredia (I–II, Sal 1951–1953).
With other theololgians of the Dominican school, Báñez became the chief opponent in the controversy with the Molinists (a group of Jesuit theologians focussed on the doctrinal thought of Luis de Molina—1535–1600). The problem of the relation between human freedom and grace became an object of controversy. In opposition to L. de Molina, Báñez held to the theory of “physical premotion”. He distinguished between the order of God’s causation (action) and the action of secondary causes. He called such a relation “preceding co-action”. According to Báñez there is no risk here of limiting freedom by the fact of “preceding co-action”. God’s action (His knowledge) does not diminish the freedom of rational beings apart from Him (ultimately God’s mode of action as the perfect Being cannot be known by man). Therefore God can define free creatures to perform actions in a free manner, just as God can define the nature of beings that lack freedom to act in a necessary manner. Will is thus subject to predetermination.
In general Báñez was renowned as an eminent and faithful interpreter and defender of Aquinas’ doctrine, especially in the doctrine of grace and determination. (He had a simple style of writing along with profundity in his philosophical and theological discourse). His doctrine and the Dominican school focused around him and his views played a very important role in the development of theology in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and later in many discussions concerning the establishment of the relation between nature (man’s freedom) and grace.
V. Beltrán de Heredia, Actuación de maestro Domingo Báñez en la universidad de Salamanca, La ciencia tomista 25 1922), 64–98, 208–240; M. Solana, Los grandes escolásticos españoles de los siglos XVI y XVII, in: Historia de la filosofía española, Ma 1941, III 151 f.; F. Pelster, Eine Kontroverse über die Methode der moral Theologie aus dem Ende des 15. Jahrhunderts. Michael Bartholomaeres OSAA, und Dominicus Báñez, OP, Scholastik 17 (1942), 385–411; M. Lépée, Báñez et Ste Thérèse, P 1947; J. M. J. Ortas, La razón en teología según Domingo Báñez, La ciencia tomista 76 (1949), 259–297; Historia de la teología española, Ma 1987, II 17–19, 161–165, 189–197; T. Perez-Rasilla, Repercusión de las polémicas doctrinales acerca de la gracia en al “Guzmán de Alfarache” de Mateo Alemán, Pamplona 1988, 166–179; J. L. Illanes, J. I. Saranyana, Historia de la teología, Ma 19962 (Historia teologii, Kr 1997, 212–218).