Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, edited by Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi, has been a classroom favorite since its publication in 1963. When it first appeared, it was the only anthology of medieval political philosophy to contain major texts from all three Western monotheistic traditions—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—and that claim remains true today. This new edition of this classic text of political philosophy—revised and enlarged by Joshua Parens and Joseph C. Macfarland—will make accessible to today's students the insights of these profound medieval thinkers.
Prior to the modern separation of religion from politics, these medieval thinkers explored a variety of approaches to the relation between religion and politics—approaches that prompted renewed interest in a world divided over how best to relate the two. For the authors gathered in this volume—including Alfarabi, Alghazali, Averroes, Maimonides, Judah Halevi, Thomas Aquinas, Boethius of Dacia, and Dante Alighieri among many others—there was a greater uniformity of general intention than at any other period. All of these authors studied the works of classical political philosophy and considered in a variety of ways the implications of this political thought for their contemporary situation in a monotheistic religious community.