By Constantin Fasolt
In 1311, on the council of Vienne, William Durant the more youthful (c. 1266-1330), the French bishop and count number, demanded that basic councils should meet each ten years so that it will position powerful limits at the papal plenitude of energy simply because 'what touches all has to be licensed via all'. this is often the 1st systematic interpretation of William Durant's impressive venture to move perfect legislative authority from the papacy to common councils. It means that the conciliar conception has a extra ambivalent complexion than is typically well-known. It confirms, at the one hand, that constitutional rules have been deeply embedded within the culture of the church, which enabled Durant to count on the council of Constance by way of greater than 100 years. however, Durant attributed an expert to old legislation that overrode his republican rules, sapped their energy, and introduced him on a pursuit of the genuine which means of the legislation that may finish in basic terms in his transformation into an historian and a reluctant champion of monarchy. William Durant the Younger's principles therefore support us to appreciate either the origins of the conciliar conception and the transition from past due medieval reform pursuits to early smooth humanism and princely sovereignty.
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Additional resources for Council and Hierarchy: The Political Thought of William Durant the Younger
187. Sieben, Konzilsidee des lateinischen Mittelalters, p. 255, criticizing Tierney, Foundations, and Watt, 'The Early Medieval Canonists', points out that both 'berufen sich fiir ihre These, dass der spatere Konziliarismus zumindest ansatzweise schon bei unseren Kanonisten vorkomme, ausschliesslich auf deren Denkmodelle fiir Ausnahmesituationen, sehen aber yollig da von ab, zunachst den grundsatzlichen Standpunkt unserer Kanonisten zu ahalysieren. ' In fairness to Tierney it should be stressed, as it is by Seidlmayer, Review, p.
309—12. 'Us sont l'un et l'autre [Durant and Pope John XXII] cuirasses de fer. Mais, sous ce fer, que de mollesse, que de souplesse, parfois que de duplicite! A qui la lit tout entiere, la bulle Exsecrabilis elle-meme trahit deja cette faiblesse de caractere. Quant a l'auteur du De modo celebrandi concilii, ce pur chretien des premiers siecles et des grands conciles oecumeniques, il oublie trop facilement certains preceptes de morale chretienne et meme de morale naturelle . . ' Viollet, pp. 39, 86.
He was content to coffer a vast array of specific proposals for reform and to support each of them by direct quotations from canon and civil laws. Not even the systematic argument for general councils that forms the substance of the first part of the Tractatus Maior can qualify as theory in any straightforward sense. As far as he was able - and his ability was great - Durant disguised his personal point of view in the conventional language of the laws. That is emphatically not to say that he possessed no authorial identity, much less that he expressed nothing deserving of the name of theory.