Excerpt #8 — Jeffrey Richards on Historical Liturgical Scholarship

An amusing little bit I wanted to leave here — amusing because it is so very accurate: Continue reading

License Permissive

Let the children split infinitives,

and let limit’s release increase; Continue reading

A (Partial) Failure

I have been using several topoi  to investigate the trends from Benedict of Nursia to Marsilius of Padua (vi&., consent, participation, procedure, discernment, whether nature tends to any good, the application of law — i.e., judgment, the purpose of law, natural vs. positive law, and whether the ruler is under any law). By means of these topoi I have come to conclude that, although there are significant connections between Benedictine monasticism and the later forms of papal plenitude of power, my original thesis that extended this thread to Marsilius in fact overextended, and fails.

Continue reading

Excerpt #7 — Dean Hammer on Cicero on the Res Publica

We use the word “Republic” for a number of things in modern American English — to designate a kind of political system (i.e., a Republican form of government), to designate a U.S. political party (vi&, the Republican Party) — we even use it in our collective mythologies to positively describe fictional periods of bliss (e.g., Star Wars, where the good Republic gives way to the evil Empire).

The English word comes from two Latin words: Res publica. It might be rendered into English as “a thing of (or belonging to) the people”, but even with this clunky phrase, the meaning of the Latin “does not translate easily”. [1]  Continue reading


I’m on an out-of-state working retreat to produce a rough draft of what I expect will be Part 10 of the current series on “The Monastic and Ecclesio-political Origins of Some Elements of our Modern Polities”. I have a University deadline to meet for it.

Part 2b, which is basically done, will need to wait until I return home, where my books and notes are, so I can finish adding the needed primary and secondary texts, and do something resembling smoothing-out the transitions.

I’ll post Part 10 here when I’m done with the first draft of it, and will back-fill the other entries. Hopefully having parts 1 and 10 will give people a framework, and so some sense of where this is going, even if the road is still obscure without the other entries.

Until then: stay thirsty, my friends.