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The Watershed of Modern PoliticsLaw, Virtue, Kingship, and Consent (1300-1650)$
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Francis Oakley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300194432

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300194432.001.0001

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Late Medieval and Early Modern Political Thinking: Some Metahistorical Challenges

(p.1) Prologue
The Watershed of Modern Politics

Francis Oakley

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of medieval political thinking, as well as shifts in the contemporary perspective. The Middle Ages have characteristically figured in the history of Western political thinking as an aberration, as a deviation from the norm, as well as a period in which the “natural” categories of political thinking were pushed to one side by religious motifs of supernatural ideas. However, this text argues that such a view could change if we approach and judge the European and Western political experience in the broader perspective of world history.

Keywords:   political thinking, Middle Ages, religious motifs, supernatural bent, political experience

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