The Conciliarist Tradition: Constitutionalism in the Catholic Church 1300-1870

Paperback | July 15, 2008

byFrancis Oakley

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In the early fifteenth century, the general council assembled at Constance and, representing the universal Church, put an end to the scandalous schism which for almost forty years had divided the Latin Church between rival lines of claimants to the papal office. It did so by claiming andexercising an authority superior to that of the pope, an authority by virtue of which it could impose constitutional limits on the exercise of his prerogatives, stand in judgement over him, and if need be, depose him for wrongdoing. In so acting the council gave historic expression to a traditionof conciliarist constitutionalism which long competed for the allegiance of Catholics worldwide with the high papalist monarchical vision that was destined to triumph in 1870 at Vatican I and to become identified with Roman Catholic orthodoxy itself. This book sets out to reconstruct thehalf-millennial history of that vanquished rival tradition.

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In the early fifteenth century, the general council assembled at Constance and, representing the universal Church, put an end to the scandalous schism which for almost forty years had divided the Latin Church between rival lines of claimants to the papal office. It did so by claiming andexercising an authority superior to that of the ...

Francis Oakley is President Emeritus of Williams College in Massachusetts.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.7 inPublished:July 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199541248

ISBN - 13:9780199541249

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Memory, Authority, and Oblivion1. Christendom's Crisis: The Great Schism, the Conciliar Movement, and the Era of Councils from Pisa to Trent2. Gerson's Hope: Fifteenth-Century Conciliarism and its Roots3. Cajetan's Conundrum: Alemain, Mair, the Divines of Paris, and their English Sympathizers4. Bellarmine's Nightmare: From James I, Sarpi, and Richer to Bossuet, Tournely, and the Gallican Orthodoxy5. De Maistre's Denial: Febronius, De Maistre, Maret, and the Triumph of Ultramontanism6. Democritus's Dreame: Conciliarism in the History of Political ThoughtEpilogue: Unfinished Business, Trailing EndsBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`'The ideas discussed in this book are old, but of enormous contemporary relevance.' 'The Church Times