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276 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY appointment as the shepherd of the sheep from Christ. Nevertheless, his successors are chosen by men. Thus they are not of divine appointment and their power, in any case limited by Scriptural precept and natural law, is strictly circumscribed. Since they are placed in their position by men, they can be judged and deposed by men if they misuse their power. Throughout his career Ockham violently repudiated the Avignonese papacy because it "professed errors and manifest heresies" and practiced injustice both in Church and state. He likewise regarded the college of cardinals as a purely human administrative institution and denied that they, along with the pope, were successors of the apostles. Since the Roman Church as well as the general Council could err, Ockham held that on occasion it is necessary to defend the true faith against the Roman Church, the pope, the general Council, and all the bishops and clergy (p. 277). The chief bond of Christians is the true faith. This is found both in the Scriptures and in tradition. This faith is to be maintained in its purity by true popes and general Councils. Their fidelity to the faith is the only guarantee of their authority. Therefore, a denial of, or a deviation from, the orthodox faith is heresy which he regarded as the major crime. De Lagarde severely criticizes Ockham by claiming that he reduced the Church to an aggregate of individuals bound together by common faith alone. This was destructive of the Church considered as a hierarchical and ~cramental institution. He traces Ockham's influence upon the dominant personalities of the subsequent decades all the way to Luther. The outstanding nominalists like Pierre d'Ailly and Jean Gerson, and reformers like Dietrich of Niem, John Wyclif, and John Huss, were either his professed disciples or were deeply influenced by Ockham. It may be remarked that the two last-named thinkers can hardly be included in this category: de Lagarde was either poorly informed or biased. For although he quotes in his support the two-volume works of Dora Paul de Vooght (L'h~rgsle de Jean Huss and Huss/ana), he ignores the general characterizations and the careful distinctions de Vooght makes between the positions of these two men, and repeats the uncritical views against which de Vooght energetically protests. It may also be added that the author omits a bibliography which is essential to a work of this kind. Nevertheless, his work is a massive and enlightening contribution to the hitherto neglected study of the post-Thomistic thinkers of the fourteenth century, among whom William of Ockham occupies a dominant place. MATr~sw SPINKA Claremont Graduate School and University Center Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. By Frances A. Yates. (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1964. Pp. xiv + 466. $7.50.) In many ways the Renaissance of western civilization is reminiscent of Graeco-Roman Hellenism. While it is true that this parallelism cannot be drawn too closely, the similarity of the cultural forces facing both eras is instructive. This parallel suggests the importance of the resurgence of Hermetic gnosticism during the period from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries for an understanding of the religious and scientific developments taking place at this time. It is to this point that Profes~r Yates has written a major work of scholarship in the history of ideas. The importance of the Hermetic tradition in the intellectual framework of Renaissance religion and science is placed in its historical evolution from the time of the recovery of the texts and their translation into Latin by Ficino until its gradual decay in the seventeenth century after the correct dating of the texts by Isaac Casaubon. Obviously with so broad an undertaking it would be impossible to treat adequately in one volume the philosophical import of the ideas of the Hermetic texts and their development. Professor Yates wisely chooses Giordano Bruno as the focal point for her penetrating analysis of the Hermetic tradition as a philosophical movement. This has great significance for the student of Bruno, for as she remarks: "... it is only in putting him into the context of the history of Hermeticism in the Renaissance...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 276-278
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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