Synopses & Reviews
The concluding volume of Francis Oakley's authoritative trilogy moves on to engage the political thinkers of the later Middle Ages, Renaissance, Age of Reformation and religious wars, and the era that produced the Divine Right Theory of Kingship. Oakley's ground-breaking study probes the continuities and discontinuities between medieval and early modern modes of political thinking and dwells at length on the roots and nature of those contract theories that sought to legitimate political authority by grounding it in the consent of the governed.
Francis Oakley continues his magisterial three-part history of the emergence of Western political thought during the Middle Ages with this second volume in the series. Here, Oakley explores kingship from the tenth century to the beginning of the fourteenth, showing how, under the stresses of religious and cultural development, kingship became an inceasingly secular institution.
“A masterpiece and the central part of a trilogy that will be a true masterwork.”—Jeffrey Burton Russell, University of California, Santa Barbara
About the Author
Francis Oakley is the Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas, Emeritus, at Williams College. He is also President Emeritus of the College and of the American Council of Learned Societies.