The papers collected in this volume fall into three main groups. Those in the first group are concerned with the origin and early development of the idea of natural rights. The author argues here that the idea first grew into existence in the writings of the 12th-century canonists. The articles in the second group discuss miscellaneous aspects of medieval law and political thought. They include an overview of modern work on late medieval canon law. The final group of articles is concerned with the history of papal infallibility, with especial reference to the tradition of Franciscan ecclesiology and the contributions of John Peter Olivi and William of Ockham.
Contents: Religion and rights: a medieval perspective; Origins of natural rights language: texts and contexts, 1150-1250; Ius and metonymy in Rufinus; Religious rights: an historical perspective; Aristotle and the American Indians - again: two critical discussions; Public expediency and natural law: a 14th-century discussion on the origins of government and property; Canon law and church institutions in the late middle ages; Tria quippe distinguit iudicia'...A note on Innocent III's decretal Per venerabilem; Two Anglo-Norman summae; Hostiensis and collegiality; The idea of representation in the medieval councils of the West; Hierarchy, consent and the 'Western tradition'; Aristotle, Aquinas, and the ideal constitution; Natural law and canon law in Ockham's Dialogus; From Thomas of York to William of Ockham: the Franciscans and the papal Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum 1250-1350; Origins of papal infallibility; Infallibility in morals: a response; John Peter Olivi and papal inerrancy: on a recent interpretation of Olivi's Ecclesiology; Index.