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Francisco Surez. De iuramento delitatis. By L.


Perea, V. Abril, C. Baciero, A. Garca, F. Belda, F.
Maseda and C. Villanueva. Estudio preliminar.
Conciencia y politica; Documentation fundamental.
dicin crtica bilinge (Corpus Hispanorum de
Pace, xviii, xix.) Pp. 658 and 383. Madrid: C.S.I.C.
Escuela Espaola de la Paz, 1979; Instituto
Francisco de Vitoria, 1978. n.p.

J. P. Sommerville

The Journal of Ecclesiastical History / Volume 32 / Issue 01 / January 1981, pp 104 - 105
DOI: 10.1017/S0022046900034230, Published online: 25 March 2011

Link to this article: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0022046900034230

How to cite this article:


J. P. Sommerville (1981). The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 32, pp 104-105
doi:10.1017/S0022046900034230

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JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY
Robert Howie, who had fully embraced it. Perhaps the writer is going too far in
claiming that 'Scottish presbyterians seized upon the federal scheme because it
suddenly seemed politically relevant.' He is, however, correct in maintaining that
it hardly derived from an apocalyptic impulse.
In the latter part of the book Williamson discusses the influence of classical
(humanist) ideas on the Scottish political climate and expounds George
Buchanan's 'combination of radical constitutionalism and patriotic
antiquarianism characterised signally by a precocious linguistic analysis', as
speaking to 'a Scottish context, not a British one'.
The author has packed a great amount of reading in little-known
contemporary material into this book. Those interested in the subject will,
however, feel the need to ponder deeply his judgements and will at the same time
be grateful for his insights.
UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS J. K. CAMERON

Francisco Suarez. De iurarnento fidelitatis. By L. Perena, V. Abril, C. Baciero, A.


Garcia, F. Belda, F. Maseda and C. Villanueva. Estudiopreliminar. Concienciay
poli'tica; Documentation fundamental. Edition critica bilingiie (Corpus
Hispanorum de Pace, xviii, xix.) Pp. 658 and 383. Madrid: C.S.I.C. Escuela
Espanola de la Paz, 1979; Instituto Francisco de Vitoria, 1978. n.p.
These two volumes are the latest in a series of publications of classic Spanish
lexts on political and legal theory. The second volume contains the sixth book of
Suarcz's Defensio Fidei Catholicae of 1613, one of the most important political
writings of the Spanish Counter-Reformation, and one ol the most interesting to
English leaders, since it was written to show that James I'S policy towards
Catholics, and especially the Oath of Allegiance of 1606, were unjust. The
present edition contains the original Latin text together with a Spanish
translation. One particularly useful feature of this edition is that all of Suarez's
citations have been followed up in footnotes, often with extensive quotations
from the sources. Also very useful in a work of this kind is a thorough index of
the topics and concepts which Suarez discusses. Each volume also contains an
appendix printing documents essential for the understanding of the controversy
over the Oath of Allegiance. These include a Latin text ofJames i's Apologiefor the
Oath.
The first volume contains five scholarly essays on various aspects of the
controversy and on Suarez's contribution to it. The longest and perhaps the most
valuable of these essays is Luciano Perena's account of the historical background
to the controversy. Perena gives a definitive summary of the details of Suarez's
composition of the Defensio Fidei and relates this to Spanish foreign policy in the
early seventeenth century. This essay also provides much interesting and
little-known information on political thought in early seventeenth-century
Spain. It has too often been assumed that Philip ill's government was a
straightforward absolutism. Perena argues that the acts of the Cortes of Castile
reveal that the Spanish monarchy in fact underwent 'a genuine process of
democratisation' during this period and sees this as a reflection of Suarezian
constitutionalism.
Perena emphasises that, according to Suarez, the sovereign is bound to abide
by the conditions on which the people had originally granted him power. It is
sometimes claimed that Suarez's contractual theory is quite compatible with
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REVIEWS

absolutism since it might be the case that the people have placed few or no limits
on the ruler's exercise of power. These essays make it clear, however, that
Suarez's theory was not merely contractual and that it was certainly not
absolutist. Suarez held that if the ruler failed to govern in accordance with the
public good he could be deposed by the people, even if he had not infringed the
original contract. He thus gave the people powers over their ruler in a much
wider set of circumstances than is often assumed. The emphasis of these essays on
Suarez's constitutionalism is most salutary, as is their insistence that Suarez
conceived of civil authority as a divine institution rather than a human artefact.
Nevertheless, these essays have several shortcomings, and the book as a whole
serves as an introduction rather than a definitive account of its subject. Abril's
analysis of the theories involved in the controversy is a little unsympathetic
towards the doctrines maintained by James i and his supporters. These doctrines
were not based merely on an idiosyncratic reading of scripture, as Abril suggests,
but were also (purportedly) grounded on natural reason. John Buckeridge, for
example, based his designation theory of the origins of royal authority on an
equation between civil and patriarchal power, in this strikingly anticipating the
views of such nineteenth-century Catholic theorists as Taparelli. Abril's account
is also a little weak on the interesting question of the relations of Suarez's
theories to those of other Catholic theologians, especially Bellarmine. Somewhat
questionably, the book regards Suarez as first and foremost a Spaniard rather
than a Catholic or a Jesuit and makes little attempt to examine his theories from
the perspective of the history of Catholic political philosophy.
Baciero's account of the origins and progress of the controversy over James's
Oath is generally reliable, though his somewhat dismissive attitude towards
James's supporters seems calculated to revive rather than describe the debate.
Just occasionally he falls into error: the papal Breves condemning the Oath were
issued on 23 August 1606 and 22 September 1607, not on 10 October in each
year (p. 341); the books published under the name of Roger Widdrington were
certainly, and not probably, written by Thomas Preston, and his opponent in the
Responsio Apologetica of 1612 (not 1613) was in fact the secular priest Edward
Weston (p. 347); William Barret was not a Frenchman but an Englishman, at one
time chaplain of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and his lus Regis was
published at London, though its title-page bore the fictitious imprint of Basle (p.
348). Some of the errors in this book could have been avoided by better
collaboration between the authors and this might also have prevented a certain
amount of needless repetition. Lancelot Andrewes is called Andrew Lancelot by
Perena on p. 41 and in the bibliography, but appears correctly, except for the
mis-spelling Andrews, in Baciero's essay.
Despite these defects these well-produced volumes are valuable, especially for
their treatment of Spanish affairs, and for the illustrative documents which they
publish, while the second volume is likely to become the standard edition of
Suarez's text.
STJOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE J. P. SOMMERVILLE

Education'for Ministry: Bristol Baptist College, 1679-1979. By Norman S. Moon. Pp.


x + 150 + 15 illus. Bristol: Bristol Baptist College, 1979. 3-60
Bristol Baptist College was founded as a result of a deed of gift made by
Edward Terrill to Broadmead Church in 1679. It is the oldest Baptist college in
the world and the oldest surviving Free Church college in Britain. Some 1400
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