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"Primary Sources in Political Thought" makes available a number of important but, until now, inaccessible texts in the history of political thought. Many of these have been overshadowed by longer or more famous works by the same authors, lost in the obscurity of periodical publication, never translated into English, or overlooked or neglected by modern scholars. The series aims to present definitive editions of these texts. Spurred on by the activities of a papacy which he saw as destroying the very foundations of his Order, the Franciscan William of Ockham (c.1285-1347) devoted the last part of his life to examining the extent of papal power over Christians and its relationship to the secular government of people. This text, written in 1347, and his last work, represents a distillation of his thought on these questions, and his political thought as a whole. The annotations to the text bring to light the range of sources on which Ockham drew, while the introduction places the work in its historical context and relates it to other works of medieval Franciscan political discourse.
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin
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