Rethinking Medieval and Renaissance Political Thought
Historiographical Problems, Fresh Interpretations, New Debates
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This collection of essays, written by leading experts, showcases historiographical problems, fresh interpretations, and new debates in medieval and Renaissance history and political thought.
Recent scholarship on medieval and Renaissance political thought is witness to tectonic movements. These involve quiet, yet considerable, re-evaluations of key thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and Machiavelli, as well as the string of lesser known "political thinkers" who wrote in western Europe between Late Antiquity and the Reformation. Taking stock of thirty years of developments, this volume demonstrates the contemporary vibrancy of the history of medieval and Renaissance political thought. By both celebrating and challenging the perspectives of a generation of scholars, notably Cary J. Nederman, it offers refreshing new assessments. The book re-introduces the history of western political thought in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the wider disciplines of History and Political Science. Recent historiographical debates have revolutionized discussion of whether or not there was an "Aristotelian revolution" in the thirteenth century. Thinkers such as Machiavelli and Marsilius of Padua are read in new ways; less well-known texts, such as the Irish On the Twelve Abuses of the Age, offer new perspectives. Further, the collection argues that medieval political ideas contain important lessons for the study of concepts of contemporary interest such as toleration.
The volume is an ideal resource for both students and scholars interested in medieval and Renaissance history as well as the history of political thought.
Table of Contents
1. Medieval & Renaissance Political Thought: Past, Present, … and Future? An Essay.
Chris Jones & Takashi Shogimen
2. Medieval Ideas and the Ethics of Listening.
Part 1: Historiographical Problems
3. The Jewish Reinterpretation of the Hebrew Prophet: From Medieval Prophet-Philosopher to Renaissance Prophet-Statesman.
4. The Scientist of Politics? The Typology of Princedoms in The Prince and Machiavelli’s Ambition as a Theorist of Human Action.
5. The Twelve Abuses of the Age: Ethical and Political Theory in Early Medieval Ireland and its Influence.
Constant J. Mews
Part 2: Fresh Interpretations
6. The Mirror Compiled: Roger Waltham’s Compendium morale and Cary Nederman’s Medieval English Tradition of Political Thought.
Charles F. Briggs
7. Bonum commune and its Uses in Political Discourse at the Beginning of the Fourteenth Century.
8. Machiavelli’s Representation of the People in the Ciompi Revolt.
Part 3: New Debates
9. Classical Republicanism in the Age of Machiavelli.
Paul A. Rahe
10. A Medieval Scholastic Job Description: Diversi sed non adversi.
Marcia L. Colish
11. Heresy and Toleration in the Early Fourteenth Century: Marsilius of Padua and William of Ockham Reconsidered.
12. Consent, Power, and the Political Community: Communal versus Individual "Rights" in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries.
Part 4: Responses
13. The Study of Political Texts and Texts of Political Thought: A Methodological Afterword.
14. Some Reflections on the Future(s) of Medieval and Renaissance Political Thought.
Cary J. Nederman
Chris Jones FSA, FRHistS is an Associate Professor in Medieval History at the University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand. His research explores the history of political thought in the later Middle Ages. His edited books include John of Paris: Beyond Royal and Papal Power (2015).
Takashi Shogimen FRHistS MAE is Professor of History at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. He has published widely on medieval European and modern Japanese political thought including Ockham and Political Discourse in the Late Middle Ages (2007).
"Chris Jones and Takashi Shogimen have done a wonderful job in collecting a series of exemplary essays on medieval and Renaissance political thought. This book ranges over key methodological debates and salient topics, such as toleration, the common good, the influence of Cicero, and republicanism. It demonstrates new developments in the field and its relevance to an understanding of European and indeed global political thought through critical engagement with Cary Nederman’s voluminous work in this field."
Antony Black, Emeritus Professor in the History of Political Thought, University of Dundee
"As [Shogimen and Jones] point out in their introduction this field has been marked by especially active debate and development in recent decades, and at the center of much of this has been Cary Nederman (with whom I have often myself engaged), so it is entirely appropriate for them to focus their book on reactions to his contribution. To this end they have assembled an impressive group of eminent scholars on a wide variety of topics."
James M. Blythe, Professor Emeritus of Medieval European History, University of Memphis