Born in Duns, Scotland, John was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1291. He studied in Paris, Oxford and Cambridge, and through his writings and teaching at the University of Paris became the preeminent English-speaking philosopher-theologian of his age. His Franciscan minister-general wrote of his “most subtle genius,” which led to the later title “doctor subtilis.” In 1307, following his disagreement with the French king in a dispute with the pope and his espousal of the then-controversial doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, he was sent to the University of Cologne for his own safety. The cause of his death a year later is unknown. This great medieval scholastic and doctor of the church was beatified in 1993.