The Common Good in Late Medieval Political Thought

By M. S. Kempshall | Go to book overview

abstractions of 'Aristotelianism' and 'Augustinianism' into which it is frequently resolved must be personalized as well as historicized in all their complexity.

I am very conscious of the debts which have been incurred in the writing of this book, and their acknowledgement here is but a small token of my gratitude. What follows owes its existence, in the first instance, to the knowledge and guidance of Jean Dunbabin and Gervase Rosser, and to the personal and intellectual generosity of György Geréby and David Leopold. Their integrity of scholarship and depth of insight have helped me far more than they may realize. In the second instance, this book owes its existence to the material generosity of the British Academy, the Dean and Students of Christ Church, Oxford, the Warden and Fellows of Merton College, Oxford, and the Trustees of Canon Robert Murray. Without this support, I would not have had the opportunity of refining a D.Phil. thesis into a book nor, together with the Lower Reading Room of the Bodleian Library, would I have been able to profit from environments which were so stimulating and conducive to academic study.

The research which underpins this book has benefited immeasurably from the additional advice and criticism offered by Peter Biller, Ralph Davis, David d'Avray, Robert Dodaro, Mark Edwards, Jane Garnett, George Holmes, Isabel Iribarren, David Luscombe, Alexander Murray, Mark Philpott, Andreas Speer, Rowan Williams, and Joseph Ziegler. It has been sustained by the steadfast encouragement of Joanna Howard, by my colleagues at St Catherine's College, Bill Brewer and Jose Harris, as well as by the kindness and good humour of Katya Andreyev, Martin Conway, Simon Loseby, and Philip Waller. It also owes much to a succession of undergraduates at Oxford whose enthusiasm and intelligence have made tutorials such consistently rewarding exchanges of ideas. Finally, publication in its present form, and by Oxford University Press, would not have been possible without the support of Tony Morris who showed not only an appreciation of what I was trying to do but also patience with the time which it has subsequently taken to do it.

It is my friends and family who have borne the private tribulations of this work, and I am very grateful, therefore, to have been able to rely on their unfailing intellectual, moral, and emotional support, particularly from my sister, Helen Whittingham. My greatest debt, however, as it always will be, is to Sylvia and Kim Kempshall. It is to them that this book is dedicated with love and gratitude.

M.S.K.

Oxford December 1997

-viii-

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