By Thomas Aquinas, R. W. Dyson
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is a very influential determine within the historical past of Western idea and the Catholic church. during this significant addition to the Cambridge Texts within the background of Political concept sequence, Robert Dyson has translated texts through Aquinas that mirror the full diversity of his considering, and obviously express his improvement of a Christian model of the philosophy of Aristotle. His translations are supported by means of short biographies, notes for additional interpreting and a concise severe advent.
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Additional resources for Aquinas: Political Writings
This, broadly speaking, was the standard position of the papacy between the pontiﬁcates See especially Tierney, The Crisis of Church and State, pt , ch. ; see also S. R. Packard, Europe and the Church under Innocent III (New York, ); H. Tillmann, Pope Innocent III (Amsterdam, ); J. A. Watt, The Theory of Papal Monarchy in the Thirteenth Century (London, ). xxviii Introduction of Innocent III (–) and Boniface VIII (–), and it would be surprising had St Thomas held any other view.
Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae : (PL :); although, like so many medieval etymologies, this one is not correct. Augustine, De civitate Dei :. De regimine principum to number. Again, if wrongful government is exercised by the many, this is named ‘democracy’, that is, ‘rule by the people’; and this comes about when the common people oppress the rich by force of numbers. In this way the whole people will be like a single tyrant. Similarly, it is proper to distinguish the various kinds of just government.
The only exception arises if the tyrant requires us to do something plainly contrary to God’s will. In such a case – if, say, he requires us to sacriﬁce to an idol – our proper course is to decline to obey and suffer the consequences. We may not resist. Augustine will countenance nothing more than civil disobedience. St Thomas, by contrast, though his thought on the subject is not wholly divested of Augustinian elements, does not regard tyranny simply as a divinely intended punishment; nor does he hold that the right to disregard a tyrant’s commands extends only to those commands which directly contradict the divine will.
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