Incorporating research previously unavailable in English, this clear guide gives a synthesis of the latest scholarship providing the historical and intellectual context for political ideas. This accessible and lucid guide to medieval political thought * gives a synthesis of the latest scholarship * incorporates the results of research until now unavailable in English * focuses on the crucial primary source material * provides the historical and intellectual context for political ideas. The book covers four periods, each with a different focus: * 300-750 - Christian ideas of rulership * 750-1050 - the Carolingian period and its aftermath * 1050-1290 - the relationship between temporal and spiritual power, and the revived legacy of antiquity * 1290-1450 - the confrontation with political reality in ideas of church and of state, and in juristic thought. Canning has produced an ideal introductory text for undergraduate and postgraduate students of the period.
This study examines themes in the political ideas of Episcopalian, Puritan, and Separatist authors from the reign of Edward VI until the death of Elizabeth I. Cosmic harmony, providentialism, natural law, absolutism, and government by consent are examined in the context of the theological, political, and social upheavals of the Reformation period.
We fear that the growing threat of violent attack has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. David Williams Bates allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, he argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order. We traditionally associate the Enlightenment with the taming of absolutist sovereign power through the establishment of a legal state based on the rights of individuals. In his critical rereading, Bates shows instead that Enlightenment thinkers conceived of political autonomy in a systematic, theoretical way. Focusing on the nature of foundational violence, war, and existential crises, eighteenth-century thinkers understood law and constitutional order not as constraints on political power but as the logical implication of that primordial force. Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development. Following an analysis of seminal works by seventeenth-century natural-law theorists, Bates reviews the major canonical thinkers of constitutional theory (Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) from the perspective of existential security and sovereign power. Countering Carl Schmitt's influential notion of the autonomy of the political, Bates demonstrates that Enlightenment thinkers understood the autonomous political sphere as a space of law protecting individuals according to their political status, not as mere members of a historically contingent social order.
Medieval Sovereignty examines the idea of sovereignty in the Middle Ages and asks if it can be considered a fundamental element of medieval constitutional order. Francesco Maiolo analyzes the writings of Marsilius of Padua (1275/80–1342/43) and Bartolous of Saxoferrato (1314–57) and assesses their relative contributions as early proponents of popular sovereignty. Both are credited with having provided the legal justification for medieval popular government. Maiolo’s cogent reconsideration of this primacy is an important addition to current medieval studies.
'Community' and 'justice' recur in anthropological, historical, and legal scholarship, yet as concepts they are notoriously slippery. Historians and lawyers look to anthropologists as 'community specialists', but anthropologists often avoid the concept through circumlocution: although much used (and abused) by historians, legal thinkers, and political philosophers, the term remains strikingly indeterminate and often morally overdetermined. 'Justice', meanwhile, is elusive, alternately invoked as the goal of contemporary political theorizing, and wrapped in obscure philosophical controversy. A conceptual knot emerges in much legal and political thought between law, justice, and community, but theories abound, without any agreement over concepts. The contributors to this volume use empirical case studies to unpick threads of this knot. Local codes from Anglo-Saxon England, north Africa, and medieval Armenia indicate disjunctions between community boundaries and the subjects of local rules and categories; processes of justice from early modern Europe to eastern Tibet suggest new ways of conceptualizing the relationship between law and justice; and practices of exile that recur throughout the world illustrate contingent formulations of community. In the first book in the series, Legalism: Anthropology and History, law was addressed through a focus on local legal categories as conceptual tools. Here this approach is extended to the ideas and ideals of justice and community. Rigorous cross-cultural comparison allows the contributors to avoid normative assumptions, while opening new avenues of inquiry for lawyers, anthropologists, and historians alike.
Guilds and fraternities, voluntary associations of men and women, proliferated in medieval Europe. The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages explores the motives and experiences of the many thousands of men and women who joined together in these family-like societies. Rarely confined to a single craft, the diversity of guild membership was of its essence. Setting the English evidence in a European context, this study is not an institutional history, but instead is concerned with the material and non-material aims of the brothers and sisters of the guilds. Gervase Rosser addresses the subject of medieval guilds in the context of contemporary debates surrounding the identity and fulfilment of the individual, and the problematic question of his or her relationship to a larger society. Unlike previous studies, The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages does not focus on the guilds as institutions but on the social and moral processes which were catalysed by participation. These bodies founded schools, built bridges, managed almshouses, governed small towns, shaped religious ritual, and commemorated the dead, perceiving that association with a fraternity would be a potential catalyst of personal change. Participants cultivated the formation of new friendships between individuals, predicated on the understanding that human fulfilment depended upon a mutually transformative engagement with others. The peasants, artisans, and professionals who joined the guilds sought to change both their society and themselves. The study sheds light on the conception and construction of society in the Middle Ages, and suggests further that this evidence has implications for how we see ourselves.
Originally published in 2000, this original reinterpretation of the legal status of foreigners in medieval England boldly rejects the canonical view which has for centuries dominated the imagination of historians and laymen alike. Keechang Kim proposes an understanding of the genesis of the modern legal regime and the important distinction between citizens and non-citizens. Making full use of medieval and early modern sources, Kim offers a compelling argument that the late medieval changes in legal treatment of foreigners are vital to an understanding of the shift of focus from status to the State, and that the historical foundation of the modern state system should be sought in this shift of outlook. The book contains a re-evaluation of the legal aspects of feudalism, examining, in particular, how the feudal legal arguments were transformed by the political theology of the Middle Ages to become the basis of the modern legal outlook.