Edited by Antonia Fitzpatrick and John Sabapathy

NEW: published 31 July 2020


This volume explores the relationship between individuals and institutions in scholastic thought and practice across the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, setting an agenda for future debates. Written by leading European experts from numerous fields, this theoretically sophisticated collection analyses a wide range of intellectual practices and disciplines. Avoiding narrow approaches to scholasticism, the book addresses ethics, history, heresy, law, inquisition, metaphysics, pastoral care, poetry, religious orders, saints’ cults and theology. A substantial introduction establishes an accessible historiographical context for the volume’s agenda, and a final afterword examines implications for future research.

The history of individuals and institutions in scholasticism has often been unhelpfully treated either as a simple intellectual genealogy of schools and doctrines, or a constitutional history of particular organizational forms. This volume advances our understanding by reconsidering these fields as a whole and addressing two large questions. What was the relationship between particular intellectuals and their wider networks? How did individuals alter their institutions, and how did those institutions shape their individuality?

This volume is of major importance to intellectual, religious and cultural historians as well as historians of knowledge and science. It will engage those working on individuals and institutions in the middle ages as well as in other periods.


Published by University of London Press as part of the RHS / IHR New Historical Perspectives series

282 pp, Available from 31 July 2020, in print, eBook and as a free Open Access download.

To request a review copy, please contact Lauren De'ath, Publications and Marketing Officer at University of London Press.

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Table of contents

Notes on contributors

Antonia Fitzpatrick and John Sabapathy, 'Introduction: individuals and institutions in medieval scholasticism'

Part I. Individuals and intellectual traditions: construction and criticism

1. Blaise Dufal, 'The fathers of scholasticism: authorities as totems'

2. Antonia Fitzpatrick, 'The unicity of substantial form in the Correctoria corruptorii fratris Thomae of Richard Knapwell, Robert Orford and John of Paris'

3. John Marenbon, 'Italian universities, arts masters and interpreting Pomponazzi’s De immortalitate animae'

4. Matthew Kempshall, 'Individual and institution in scholastic historiography: Nicholas Trevet'

Part II. Institutions and individuals: organizations and social practices

a. Individuals and organizations

5. Gert Melville, 'The charismatic leader and the vita religiosa: some observations about an apparent contradiction between individual and institution'

6. Sylvain Piron, ' An institution made of individuals: Peter John Olivi and Angelo Clareno on the Franciscan experience'

7. Peter Biller, 'Rolando of Cremona and the earliest inquisition depositions of Languedoc'

b. Individuals and practices

8. John Sabapathy, 'Robert of Courson’s systematic thinking about early thirteenth-century institutions'

9. Emily Corran, ‘"Better to let scandal arise than to relinquish the truth": the cases of conscience of the masters of Paris in the thirteenth century'

10. Cornelia Linde, 'Of parish priests and hermaphrodites: Robert Holcot’s discussion of Omnis utriusque sexus'

11. Isabel Iribarren, 'The cult of the marriage of Joseph and Mary: the shaping of doctrinal novelty in Jean Gerson’s Josephina (1414–17)'

Afterword: David d’Avray