Colloquium: Franciscan Forced Baptism

Codex Manasse‘Duns Scotus and Politics: The Power of the Prince and the Conversion of the Jews’

Dr Sylvain Piron, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

The Meredith Room, 23 University Square, 23.01.009, Queen’s University Belfast,
4pm, Thursday 5th April 2018.

The fourteenth-century Franciscan theologian, John Duns Scotus argued that Christian princes were positively obliged to baptise Jewish children without their parents’ consent, privileging God’s right over the natural rights of the parents. As a theologian who became ever more central to Franciscan religious and intellectual life during the late Middle Ages and early modernity, this cruel doctrine was important not just to Christian-Jewish relations, but also to the development of Christian political thought itself. Dr Piron will review his ground-breaking analysis of this problem, first published in 2004, as well as its reception among scholars of the Middle Ages.

Dr Piron will speak at 4pm. Following a break for coffee at 5pm, Dr Jacob Schmutz (Sorbonne, Paris), Dr Sarah Mortimer (Christ Church, Oxford), and Professor John McCafferty (University College Dublin), will respond. We will conclude about 6.30 pm and go for drinks. All Welcome!

This colloquium is conducted within ‘War and the Supernatural in Early Modern Europe’ funded by the European Research Council. Please contact Dr Ian Campbell,, for further details.