Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
With Reverence for the WordMedieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Barry D. Walfish, and Joseph W. Goering

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137279.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 November 2019

Material Swords and Literal Lights: The Status of Allegory in William of Ockham's Breviloquium on Papal Power

Material Swords and Literal Lights: The Status of Allegory in William of Ockham's Breviloquium on Papal Power

Chapter:
(p.292) 19 Material Swords and Literal Lights: The Status of Allegory in William of Ockham's Breviloquium on Papal Power
Source:
With Reverence for the Word
Author(s):

A. J. Minnis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137279.003.0019

At Luke 22:38, the disciples are presented as saying to Jesus, “Lord, behold, there are two swords”. The significance of the “two swords” (one drawn and the other undrawn) doctrine was debated from time to time in the early Middle Ages. In patristic exegesis, the undrawn and drawn swords are often interpreted as signifying, respectively, spiritual and temporal, or ecclesiastical and lay, power. During the Middle Ages, Luke's remarks about them became a battleground on which many issues relating to regnum and sacerdotium were fought out. This chapter examines certain aspects of William of Ockham's contribution to the debate which raise general hermeneutic issues, centering on the extent to which sound doctrine can rest on spiritual interpretation as opposed to literal declaration. Here, exegesis and politics intersect crucially, with potentially very serious consequences. The focus is on the status of allegory in William of Ockham's Breviloquium on the power of the pope. The argument of the Breviloquium depends heavily on the Bible as a source of authority for what should be believed about the nature of papal power.

Keywords:   William of Ockham, Breviloquium, power, pope, swords, Bible, Middle Ages, exegesis, politics, allegory

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .