Politics and Eternity: Studies in the History of Medieval and Early-Modern Political Thought

Overview

This collection of studies in the history of political thought from late antiquity to the early-eighteenth century ranges broadly across themes of kingship, political theology, constitutional ideas, natural-law thinking and consent theory. The studies are linked together by three shared characteristics. First, all of them explore the continuities that existed during those centuries between legal/political thinking and theology. Second, nearly all of them transgress the sharp dividing line traditionally drawn ...

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Overview

This collection of studies in the history of political thought from late antiquity to the early-eighteenth century ranges broadly across themes of kingship, political theology, constitutional ideas, natural-law thinking and consent theory. The studies are linked together by three shared characteristics. First, all of them explore the continuities that existed during those centuries between legal/political thinking and theology. Second, nearly all of them transgress the sharp dividing line traditionally drawn between the "medieval" and the " modern" which did so much in the past to distort our understanding of intellectual developments in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Third, all of them raise historiographic questions or probe the metahistorical/methodological questions which have troubled the field for the past quarter-century and more.

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Meet the Author

Francis Oakley, Ph.D. (1960) in History, Yale University, is Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas and President Emeritus at Williams College. He has published extensively on medieval and early-modern religious and intellectual history including Omnipotence, Covenant, and Order (Cornell, 1984).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction: Text, Context, Temperament and Tradition
2. Celestial Hierarchies Revisited: Ullmann’s Vision of Medieval Politics
3. “Verius est licet difficilius:” Tierney’s Foundations of the Conciliar Theory after Forty Years
4. Legitimation by Consent: The Question of the Medieval Roots
5. “Anxieties of Influence:” Skinner, Figgis, Conciliarism and Early-Modern Constitutionalism
6. Complexities of Context: Gerson, Bellarmine, Sarpi, Richer and the Venetian Interdict of 1606–1607
7. Locke, Natural Law, and God: Again
8. Jacobean Political Theology: Holdsworth, McIlwain and the Absolute and Ordinary Powers of the King
9. “Adamantine Fetters of Destiny:” The Absolute and Ordained Power of God and King in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
10. Epilogue: Oakeshott’s Will and Artifice and the Mirror of Eternity

Index of Names and Places
Subject Index
Bibliography

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