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Constitutionalism -- medieval and modern:against neo-figgisite orthodoxy (again)

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My aim is not to diminish the importance of conciliarism as a contribution to Western political thought so much as to place it within its own appropriate context. I do not deny that conciliar theory played an important role in the history of ‘constitutionalism’, but I insist that conciliarism was a form of constitutional thought and practice deeply rooted in the mental world of the Latin Middle Ages and not directly germane to our own modern political framework and dilemmas. This caveat ultimately separates Figgis and his recent advocates most deeply from my own viewpoint.

Keywords: Figgis; Western political thought; conciliar theory; conciliarism; constitutional thought; constitutionalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Arizona.

Publication date: January 1, 1996

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