Rights, Laws and Infallibility in Medieval Thought: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Rights, Laws and Infallibility in Medieval Thought

1st Edition

By Brian Tierney


352 pages

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Hardback: 9780860786481
pub: 1997-07-03
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The papers collected in this volume fall into three main groups. Those in the first group are concerned with the origin and early development of the idea of natural rights. The author argues here that the idea first grew into existence in the writings of the 12th-century canonists. The articles in the second group discuss miscellaneous aspects of medieval law and political thought. They include an overview of modern work on late medieval canon law. The final group of articles is concerned with the history of papal infallibility, with especial reference to the tradition of Franciscan ecclesiology and the contributions of John Peter Olivi and William of Ockham.


’..the essays in this volume constitute an important distillation of scholarship on the history of medieval canon law and political theory. We see the A[uthor] at his absolute best- challenging cherished but untenable views, creatively reworking the whole tradition of medieval political and legal historiography, and even occasionally breaking some icons. This is an important work that allows one to grasp fully the range and importance of his scholarship. His work on rights, on religious liberty, on papal infallibility and the many other themes touched on in this collection is as timely and compelling now as when first written.’ Studia Canonica, Vol. 32

Table of Contents

Contents: Religion and rights: a medieval perspective; Origins of natural rights language: texts and contexts, 1150-1250; Ius and metonymy in Rufinus; Religious rights: an historical perspective; Aristotle and the American Indians - again: two critical discussions; Public expediency and natural law: a 14th-century discussion on the origins of government and property; Canon law and church institutions in the late middle ages; Tria quippe distinguit iudicia’…A note on Innocent III’s decretal Per venerabilem; Two Anglo-Norman summae; Hostiensis and collegiality; The idea of representation in the medieval councils of the West; Hierarchy, consent and the ’Western tradition’; Aristotle, Aquinas, and the ideal constitution; Natural law and canon law in Ockham’s Dialogus; From Thomas of York to William of Ockham: the Franciscans and the papal Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum 1250-1350; Origins of papal infallibility; Infallibility in morals: a response; John Peter Olivi and papal inerrancy: on a recent interpretation of Olivi’s Ecclesiology; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at Michael.Greenwood@informa.com

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General