Franciscans, Scotists, and Holy War

Was the justice of religious war widely accepted in the Seventeenth Century? Some Jesuits argued that war fought for the sake of religion alone was always unjust. And they identified the Franciscans as advocates of that kind of illicit religious war. These Franciscans erred in this way, said the Jesuits, because the great theologian of their order, John Duns Scotus, thought that it was right to take Jewish children from their parents and baptise them by force. Were the Jesuits right to identify a holy war tradition, closely linked to Scotist theology, in the Franciscan order in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Dr Todd Rester is currently translating writings on politics and religious warfare by Scotist theologians such as John Punch and Alfonsus De Castro (whose On the Just Punishment of Heretics is pictured above). These translations will be published as a collection of extracts which will enable students of the period to look beyond the School of Salamanca.