Law and Government

Authored by: Jonathan Jacobs

The Routledge Companion to Medieval Philosophy

Print publication date:  January  2021
Online publication date:  January  2021

Print ISBN: 9780415658270
eBook ISBN: 9781315709604
Adobe ISBN:


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Medieval political thought contains a great deal of analytically astute and highly sophisticated argumentation and theorizing. Medieval thought concerning the claims of various legal authorities and how and why one rather than another has priority is very rich. Different authorities and legal principles were often in conflict and those authorities and principles were connected with fundamental values concerning temporal and spiritual life. The conflict between the papacy and temporal authorities is perhaps the most visible of the conflicts but there were many controversies concerning authority and they challenged thinkers to articulate conceptions of the scope of legitimate power, the rule of law, and the authority to sanction. Also, it was during the Middle Ages that recognizably early modern conceptions of state and church and political institutions began to be formulated. It was a period of remarkable intellectual gestation.

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