Current Issue Article Abstracts

Volume 83, Number 4, October 2022 




Redefining Reciprocity: Appointment Edicts and Political Thought in Medieval China
Shoufu Yin

This article uses a large corpus of previously understudied documents—i.e., appointment edicts of medieval China—to reveal how real-time negotiation between the imperial court and its provincial officials gave rise to two sophisticated theories of political reciprocity that impose limits on the sovereign. The first, well-studied in existent scholarship, claimed that the ruler was obliged to appoint worthy officials to promote the well-being of the commoners. The second, which this article excavates, stated instead that the ruler, while enjoying the services of the employed officials, was obliged to repay the services properly, sometimes even at the cost of commoners.

The Linguistic Terror in France according to Jean Paulhan and Jean-Paul Sartre
Jonathan Doering

The literary critic and NRF editor Jean Paulhan devised a way of thinking about fluctuating historical and psychological attitudes toward language, organizing them into a dialectic of "Rhetoric" and "Terror." In this article, I focus on Paulhan and Sartre's response to the interwar crisis of Terror and explore Rhetoric and Terror as a heuristic in the intellectual history of France.

"I am aware that this letter may be offensive": The Unapologetic Achievements of Ruth Barcan Marcus and Marjorie Glicksman Grene
Jonathan Strassfeld

This article presents a case study in the complex of pressures and attitudes that shaped the professional lives and intellectual legacies of twentieth-century American philosophers, examining the writings and careers of two of the discipline's pioneering women: Ruth Barcan Marcus and Marjorie Glicksman Grene. As members of the small cohort of women trained in philosophy during the first half of the century who achieved permanent academic appointments, their stories illuminate the salience of gender within the professional world of mid-twentieth century American academia.

Rethinking War, Nature, and Supernature in Early Modern Scholasticism: Introduction
Ian Campbell

The History of Political Thought is a discipline which is very closely aligned with the Anglophone liberal political tradition. It has not, consequently, ever had very much to say about warfare. Richard Tuck's important research marks an exception in this field, but Tuck's work is marked by significant omissions. He defined Catholic scholasticism too narrowly, omitting the Franciscan followers of John Duns Scotus, and excluded Protestant scholasticism (except the work of Hugo Grotius) entirely from consideration. Remedying these omissions leaves us with an early modern theorization of war that appears much less ripe for secularization than scholars have previously supposed.

Warfare, Christianity, and the Law of Nature
Sarah Mortimer

Early modern efforts to justify warfare entailed serious reflection on the relationship between Christianity and nature or natural law. Those working in a Thomist tradition could draw on a concept of natural law as an ethical system distinct from Christianity; others rejected that concept, working instead to show that warfare could form part of the duties of Christians. All sides recognized the tension between the words of Christ and the demands of human political life, especially when it came to defending military activity. That tension produced creative discussions of natural law, political thought, and theology, in the universities and beyond.

Across the Confessional Divide: Johannes Hoornbeeck, José de Acosta, and the Role of Force and Free Will in the Development of a Reformed Missiology
Floris Verhaart

This article seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between Catholic and Protestant theories of mission by examining the influence of the Jesuit José de Acosta on the De conversione Indorum et gentilium (1669), one of the first comprehensive handbooks of Protestant missiology, written by Johannes Hoornbeeck. It is demonstrated that Acosta's Thomist emphasis on the willing acceptance of a new faith made his ideas particularly attractive to Hoornbeeck and are the reason why the latter preferred Jesuit sources to Franciscan thinkers and writings, since these were more Scotist in their outlook.

Seventeenth-Century Scotism and the War Just on Both Sides
Daniel Schwartz

Can a war can be just on both sides? Within the Western just war tradition, Catholic theologians traditionally held wars on both sides to be logically impossible. This view went unchallenged until questioned by two seventeenth-century Irish Franciscan Scotists. These were Aodh Mac Cathmhaoil (Hugo Cavellus) and John Punch. In this paper I lay out the Scotist theological grounds that led them to admit to the possibility of wars just on both sides. I also conjecture on possible reasons why Punch refrained from revising traditional just war theory in light of his own far-reaching theological conclusions.

The Jewish Family, Forced Baptism, and Holy War in Early Modern Roman Scotism
Ian Campbell

Early modern Europeans organized important reflections on the nature of political society and the justice of warfare around their image of the American Indian. But Jewish parents and children, living in Europe at the mercy of Christian societies and states, also provided Europeans with the occasion to reflect on government and holy war. This article will describe the relevance of Christian theology to the experiences of one Roman Jewish family in the 1640s, before reviewing the place of forced baptism in Scotist thinking on politics in Rome, and establishing the connection between these doctrines and holy wa

Iberian Theories of Empire in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Giuseppe Marcocci

Starting from the Iberian reaction to Machiavelli's ideas about religion and war, this article compares and connects Spanish and Portuguese theories of empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Writings by Francisco de Vitoria, Martín de Azpilcueta, and Juan de Solórzano Pereira, as well as by less well-known thinkers, are used to trace the main legal and theological debates over empire that developed across the Iberian world. It is argued that the exchange of ideas about war and religion between Spain and Portugal culminated in the theorization of a single global empire during the period of the Iberian Union (1580–1640).

Books Received