The Medieval Contribution to Political Thought: Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Richard Hooker

The Medieval Contribution to Political Thought: Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Richard Hooker

The Medieval Contribution to Political Thought: Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Richard Hooker

The Medieval Contribution to Political Thought: Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Richard Hooker

Excerpt

Many years ago a philosopher told me that he had been reading Maitland's translation of Gierke on medieval political thought. He expressed delight and astonishment in the discovery that people in the Middle Ages were interested in such matters; and he added: 'I found there attempts to face all the big problems which have been bothering me.' On the other hand, a history tutor complained to me, a little while ago, that he found great difficulty in helping his pupils to read Locke intelligently, because they did not relate his thought to anything. My friend said, indeed, with pardonable exaggeration: 'It is not only that they don't see why Locke should refer to the Scriptures; they don't know what the Scriptures are.'

The six lectures printed in this little book cover in part the same ground and they deal in the same kind of way with medieval political thought as Professor d'Entréves's two books on medieval political philosophy and on Hooker; but they were given in English by an Oxford man with particular regard to the needs of an Oxford audience, whose acquaintance with the history of political thought is generally confined to selections from the writings of Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. A systematic survey of medieval thought, with its vast and perplexing literature, would be quite out of place in a book of this kind, primarily intended for readers who have little or no acquaintance with the history of the West between the age of St. Augustine and the age of Bodin and Hooker. Professor d'Entréves has, very . . .

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