Ockham and Political Discourse in the Late Middle Ages

Ockham and Political Discourse in the Late Middle Ages

by Takashi Shogimen


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The English Franciscan William of Ockham (c.1285-1347) was one of the most influential philosophers and theologians in late medieval Europe. Fresh scholarship has shown his profound impact on logic, metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of language in the late Middle Ages and beyond. Following a dispute between the papacy and his Order, Ockham abandoned his academic career and devoted himself to anti-papal polemics. Scholars have produced divergent and often contradictory interpretations of Ockham as a political thinker: a destructive critic of the medieval Church, a medieval Catholic traditionalist, the Franciscan ideologue, and a constitutional liberal. This 2007 book offers a fresh reappraisal of Ockham's political thought by approaching his anti-papal writings as a series of polemical responses. His aggressive and persistent attack on the papacy emerges in this study as an attempt to rescue the ethical foundations of the Christian society from the political influences of heretical popes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521143981
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 06/24/2010
Series: Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series , #69
Pages: 322
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. The poverty controversy; 2. A general theory of heresy; 3. The problem of papal heresy; 4. Papal plenitudo potestatis; 5. Petrine primacy; 6. The defence of human freedom; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

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