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Not only must the pope respect the moral law and the teachings of the Church, but he must also respect rights based on human law and compact, and he must respect the Gospel liberty of Christians. Ockham argues that, on the contrary, such concentration is dangerous and incompatible with freedom.

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Accordingly, Ockham argues for limitations on the power of the secular ruler. This is true of every community after the Fall. After the Fall natural law gave or God gave the human race the power to establish both property and government; God gave these powers not only to believers but also to unbelievers. But in exceptional circumstances, if the ruler becomes a tyrant, or if there is some other pressing reason in terms of the common good, the community can depose its ruler or change its form of government Breviloquium 6.

Short Discourse : —63; Octo questiones 3. This is true also of the Church.

Although Christ gave headship in the Church to Peter and his successors, each Christian community has power by natural law to elect its own head. The Christian community can depose a wicked pope and could perhaps even change the constitution of the Church, at least temporarily, from the papal monarchy Christ established to some other form 3.

These propositions are not obviously reconcilable. In a work apparently not circulated during the middle ages, the Breviloquium , Ockham tries to reconcile them: political power comes from God, but God confers it on the ruler selected the community; once rulership has been conferred, the ruler is subject to God alone—regularly, though on occasion a community can correct or depose its ruler Breviloquium 4.

In part I of his Dialogus, books 3 and 4 c. On the other hand, a pope who tries to impose a false doctrine on others is known to be pertinacious precisely from the fact that he is trying to impose false doctrine on others, and a pope who becomes a heretic automatically ceases to be pope. Thus ordinary Christians or a pope arguing as a theologian and not purporting to exercise papal authority can argue for a heresy as long as they are open to evidence and make no attempt to impose their belief on others, whereas a pope who tries to impose a heresy immediately ceases to be pope and loses all authority.

Christians must defend dissidents who are upholding a position that may possibly be the truth against a possibly heretical pope, until the uncertainty is resolved by discussion. This is an argument for freedom of discussion within the Church, though not for toleration in general McGrade 47—77; McGrade, Kilcullen, and Kempshall —95; Kilcullen a. In some of the cardinals who had elected Pope Urban VI met again and elected another pope, claiming that their earlier choice had been coerced.

This was the beginning of the Great Western Schism. Various possible solutions were debated. One proposal was to call a General Council of the Church to end the schism. To this it was objected that only a pope could call a council and that its decisions needed papal confirmation. The prominent French churchman and academic, Jean Gerson — , argued that such requirements were a matter of human ecclesiastical law, which should be set aside if it impedes the reformation of the Church. The arguments of Gerson and others prevailed, and the schism was in the end healed by a council.

The Council of Constance, —, deposed two rival popes by then there were three, one of whom resigned and elected a new pope. The Council also passed the decrees Sacrosancta otherwise called Haec Sancta , which claimed that a council has power over a pope in all matters pertaining to faith and the reformation of the Church and in particular the present schism, [ 74 ] and Frequens , which required the calling of a council every ten years both in Other Internet Resources.

The conciliarists were those who argued that, at least in extraordinary circumstances, a council could be called, if necessary without papal permission, to deal with schism, with authority over even a true pope. They argued that every corporation has the power to take the measures that may be necessary if its survival is endangered by failure in its head. The Church must be able to deal with situations in which the papacy is vacant or uncertain or corrupt; otherwise its existence would be more precarious than the existence of a secular body politic, which can replace its head if necessary.

The analogy between the Church and a secular body politic ran through much conciliarist thinking. As the conciliar movement developed, some argued, more radically, that even in ordinary circumstances the judgment of a council prevailed over that of a pope. Later popes though they owed their position to Constance opposed conciliarism, at least in its more radical form, and warned secular rulers that conciliarist ideas also threatened the power of kings—they were aware of the analogy between conciliarist views of church government and anti-monarchical views of secular government.

The analogy was also noticed by some of those who wrote during the quarrel between Parliament and the King in seventeenth-century England Oakley 3— Despite its possible anti-monarchical implications, the notion that the pope was subordinate to a council remained attractive to the French monarchy, and in France conciliarism was one of the sources of Gallicanism. There were a number of strands in conciliarist thought. One important influence was the tradition of canon law, in which it had been acknowledged that a pope could be judged and deposed if he became a heretic or notorious sinner Tierney An unacknowledged influence was Marsilius, who had argued that the ultimate authority in the Church was the Christian people, that councils should be convened by the secular ruler and that a council could not err in matters of faith.

On either view, the council could depose an unsatisfactory pope, but on the second view the council is the chief organ of Church authority even in normal circumstances. Although political philosophy was not part of the core curriculum in the universities, and although the writings surveyed above were generally not produced with the idea of contributing to a philosophical discipline, by the end of the middle ages the discipline of political philosophy or political theology had attained self-consciousness and a sense of constituting a tradition.

Manuscript copies of political writings by different authors were often bound together as volumes Ouy There was a readership to which such works could be addressed Miethke , b. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a number of collections of political writings were published, e.

If there is a theme to this history, it is perhaps the development of political liberalism , though, to be sure, ideals of constitutionalism see, e. This meant not only that religion influenced all aspects of life, but also, reciprocally, that the other departments of life influenced religious thinking. The influence of the Roman Law and Aristotle, and of the culture of late antiquity familiar to the Fathers of the Church, also meant that ideas originating outside the framework of the Christian religion had an impact on religious thinking.

The duality between kingship and priesthood perhaps originally due merely to the fact that Christians had no political power , and the conflicts that resulted from that duality, meant that religious thinking had to accommodate the concerns of powerful people who were not officials in the religious institutions. From the time of Constantine, and in the west especially from the time of Augustine, Christians practiced the coercion of heretics and the repression of unbelief.

However, their regime was never completely repressive. Among medieval political philosopher-theologians there was always some acknowledgment of the rights of unbelievers e. These beliefs were akin to the modern liberal presumption in favour of personal liberty. Concerning the constitution of the Church, a strong claim for unfettered papal power was made by some popes and their supporters, but this was strongly resisted by writers who argued that a heretic or sinful pope, including one who violated the rights of the laity and of unbelievers, could be deposed.

Something like freedom of speech was embodied in the practice of disputation. Ockham explicitly advocated free discussion of disagreements among Christians. Where all this still fell short of political liberalism was the absence of any argument for equal freedom of all religions. Locke, Bayle , and others in the seventeenth century advocated toleration, though not for Catholics, since Catholics themselves rejected equal freedom of religion and were dangerous to others. The arguments of medieval political philosophers are only partly available in modern political philosophy.

Non-believers cannot make much use of arguments with theological premises. But even for us, there is perhaps some value in the reminder that, under some circumstances, a religious tradition is capable of developing—not only in response to external pressure but even out of its own resources—in the direction of peace and cooperation between members of the two cities.

Note: some texts exist in bilingual Latin-English editions and are listed in the above category. The Scope of Medieval Political Philosophy 2. The Bible 2. The Fathers of the Church 4. Augustine 4. Carolingian Political Thought 6. Civil and Canon Law 6. Papal Fullness of Power 9. Thomas Aquinas 9. Giles of Rome John of Paris Marsilius of Padua William of Ockham The Conciliar Movement The kingship of King David is a model though David also often sinned.

But obedience to rulers is always limited by obedience to the commands of God. The New Testament writers teach that Christians must obey their rulers: Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Galatians The ancient Cynics and Stoics also held that a slave may attain virtue and happiness, since the essential freedom of a human being is not incompatible with external constraint.

However, the New Testament encouraged voluntary poverty: Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor…Then Jesus said to his disciples: Amen, I say to you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

intellectual, social and cultural history: ideas in context | SpringerLink

Luke The New Testament also seemed to recommend voluntary communism as an ideal. The early Christian community in Jerusalem had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. Acts —45 The leading institutions of medieval Europe included monasticism and other forms of religious life based on a vow of poverty and communal living. Matthew —26 Be not you called rabbi.

The common opinion on coercive government and slavery was expressed by Augustine. God did not intend that …[man] should have lordship over any but irrational creatures: not man over man, but man over the beasts. As Pope Gregory VII once wrote: Who does not know that kings and dukes had their rulership from those who, not knowing God, strove from blind greed and intolerable presumption to dominate their equals, namely mankind, by pride, rapine, perfidy, murder, and crimes of all sorts, urged on by the ruler of the world, i.

All three views could find support in The City of God. According to Isidore, natural law includes the common possession of all things, the one liberty of all, and the acquisition of what is taken from air, land and sea; also, the restitution of a thing or money left for safekeeping. For example… it was established that those who pertinaciously rebelled against those who have authority over them would be perpetually slaves when defeated and captured in war… that [they]… should thereafter become gentle… —a purpose recommended by natural law trans.

Ideas In Context Series

Ideas which medieval political writers took from Aristotle or which Aristotle reinforced include the following: It is natural for human beings to form cities. Natural slaves are human beings naturally lacking in intelligence and in capacity to achieve virtue or happiness. Women should, in general, be ruled by men Politics I.

The inferiority of women was already the general opinion, but Aristotle reinforced it, not only by what he said in the Politics but also by his biological theories. There are various forms of government, of which some are good and some are perversions. The best is kingship, the worst tyranny. A good form of government must be stable, not liable to revolution Politics V , and VI.

Medieval Aristotelians gave some thought to precautions against the degeneration of kingship into tyranny. Although Aristotle regarded kingship as ideally best and medieval writers agreed , Aristotle also gives an argument for democracy—or, more exactly, an argument that in good government there is a role for ordinary people. If ordinary people deliberate as a body they may make sound decisions Politics III.

The practice of disputing about important questions, including questions relating to politics, was deeply ingrained in medieval culture. Papal Fullness of Power So much for the sources of medieval political philosophy and its early stages. In other words, the pope has supreme authority in both secular and spiritual matters. John of Paris John of Paris d. William of Ockham When his authorship of Defensor pacis was discovered, Marsilius hastily left Paris and took refuge at the court of Ludwig of Bavaria in Munich.

The Conciliar Movement In some of the cardinals who had elected Pope Urban VI met again and elected another pope, claiming that their earlier choice had been coerced. The Medieval Tradition of Political Philosophy Although political philosophy was not part of the core curriculum in the universities, and although the writings surveyed above were generally not produced with the idea of contributing to a philosophical discipline, by the end of the middle ages the discipline of political philosophy or political theology had attained self-consciousness and a sense of constituting a tradition.

Carlyle, R. Often reprinted. Morrall, John B. Reprinted Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Anthologies of Translations Lewis, Ewart ed. Selections of varying lengths from the eleventh century until the end of the fifteenth; available online: Lewis , vol. Fairly extensive selections from figures ranging from Albert the Great to John Wyclif. Nederman, Cary J. Reprinted: Indianapolis: Hackett, Briefer selections.

Eerdmans Publishing Company. Especially useful its selection of materials from before Parens, Joshua and Joseph C. Macfarland eds. Selections from authors writing in the medieval Islamic, Judaic, Christian traditions spanning the tenth through fourteenth centuries. Individual Authors in Translation Augustine, [c.

Dyson trans. Augustine of Hippo , edited and translated with introduction by R. Dyson, Rochester: Boydell Press, Atkins and R. Dodaro ed. Burns, J. Izbicki eds. Calcidius, [c. Dante Alighieri, [c. Duns Scotus, John, [c. Wolter ed.

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Dyson, Robert W. Giles of Rome [d. Dyson ed. Gratian, [c. Thompson and J. Gordley trans. Larson ed. Izbicki, Thomas M. Nederman eds. James of Viterbo, [c. John of Paris [d. Jonas of Orleans, [c. Latin-English edition. Watson ed. Blume , Bruce W. Frier ed. The translation in volume 2 was reprinted independently: Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Nederman ed. Ptolemy of Lucca, [c. Blythe trans. Williams, Ammi Brown, and John Waldron trans.

Thomas Aquinas [d. Reprinted Regan trans. William of Ockham, [c. Ballweg, J. Kilcullen, G. Knysh, K. Ubl and J. Scott ed. Kilcullen and J. Scott trans. William of Saint-Amour, [c. Latin Editions of Principal Works Note: some texts exist in bilingual Latin-English editions and are listed in the above category. Alexander of Hales, [c. Bonaventurae, Augustine, [c. Bonaventure, [d. Collegii a S. Bonaventura , Quaracchi: Collegium S.

Ellies Du Pin ed. Such claims did not go uncontested, however. In England, the apparent encroaching absolutism of the Stuart dynasty led to a twenty-year conflict between royalists and parliamentarians that saw the trial and execution of Charles I and the sudden urgency of arguments by radical political groups such as the Ranters, Levellers, and Fifth Monarchists for community of goods, sexual freedom, and religious toleration.

Because of the range and variety of early modern political thought, there are relatively few comprehensive pan-European surveys. The few that exist, however, are excellent and essential points of departure. Given the considerable variation in early modern political thought, scholars have interpreted it from a wide variety of perspectives and methodologies.

Burns and Goldie offers a broad overview of early modern political thought, while Pagden provides a collection of essays written by experts on modern political thought. Pocock and Skinner are each classic texts; Pocock focuses on Florentine political thought, while Skinner focuses on Italian humanism and counter-reformation thought, among other topics. Strauss and Cropsey offers a collection of essays that covers almost every major early modern political thinker. Burns, J. The Cambridge History of Political Thought, — DOI: This volume is the most thorough and wide-ranging survey of early modern political thought.

It features contributions on the Renaissance, Reformation, absolutism, jurisprudence, natural law, constitutionalism, Aristotelianism, and liberalism by established experts in the respective fields. An essential text for all students of political ideas in early modern Europe. Pagden, Anthony R. Ideas in Context Series. An excellent collection of essays by leading authorities on major texts and themes in early modern political thought. Pocock, J. A classic and hugely influential study of the role of republican ideas in Western political thought.

International Translation Network. They are: the language of political Aristotelianism and the natural law; the language of classical republicanism; the language of commerce and the commercial society; and the language of a science of politics. Each author has chosen a single aspect of his or her language, sometimes the work of a single author, in one case the history of a single team, and shown how it determined the shape and development of that language, and the extent to which each language was a response to the challenge of other modes of discourse. First Name:.

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