Franciscan Political Thought

Franciscan friars educated by university teachers who stood in the Scotist tradition played a vital role in early modern European culture. These friars were deeply embroiled in peace-making, war-mongering, popular violence, and evangelisation, both inside and outside Europe. But at present we know very little about the political doctrines that they were taught in their colleges and universities. The fourteenth-century Franciscan friar John Duns Scotus founded a theological tradition which held to distinctive positions on the origins of human society, natural law, the nature of human excellence, evangelisation by force, and holy war. Scotism became more important among Franciscans over the course of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, and this set of doctrines was taught to many hundreds of young men across Europe, year in, year out. Nevertheless, there is no guide to this political and theological tradition  currently available in English, in contrast to the rich scholarship concerned with the Thomist political thought of the Dominicans and Jesuits. Dr Ian Campbell is currently writing a major new account of early modern Scotist political thought.