Martinus Becanus (6 January 1563 – 24 January 1624) was a Dutch-born Jesuit priest, known as a theologian and controversialist.
He was born Maarten Schellekens in Hilvarenbeek in North Brabant; Schellekens is a patronymic and he adopted a Latinized form of the surname Van (Hilvaren)Beek. He entered the Society of Jesus on 22 March 1583, and taught Theology for twenty-two years at Würzburg, Mainz, and Vienna.
A first class controversialist and prolific writer Becanus is the author of some 37 books, most of them works of polemics.
- He developed the art of controversy and taught it in his book : Manuale controversiarumn huius temporis published in Wurzburg (1623), that went into more than 20 editions.
- Another book had much success: Analogia veteris et novi Testamenti.
- He supported Cardinal Bellarmine in the major allegiance oath controversy with James I of England, publishing six books in the period 1610 to 1613, one against William Tooker and another being directed at Lancelot Andrewes. At the time he was based in Mainz; he was brought into the front line of the discussion of Bellarmine's Apologia by Attileo Amalteo, the nuncio at Cologne.
Among numerous other works was his Summa Theologiae Scholasticae.
- (in French) Scholasticon page
- (in german) Werner Raupp: Art. Becanus (Bécan, Verbee[c]k, Van der Bee[c]k; Schellekens, Scell-), Martinus (Martin). In: Frühe Neuzeit in Deutschland 1620–1720. Literaturwissenschaftliches Verfasserlexikon (VL 17), Vol. 1, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2019, Cols. 481–502 (with detailed Bibliography).
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. .
- W. B. Patterson, King James VI and I and the Reunion of Christendom (1997), note 139 p. 101.
- Peter Godman, The Saint as Censor: Robert Bellarmine between inquisition and index (2000), p. 203.