The Eyes of the Church

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):487-506 (2012)
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Abstract

This article revisits certain aspects of the discussion originated by dissident Franciscans over the two keys conferred by Christ to Peter, bringing it into connection with the value that Ockham and John XXII accord respectively to knowledge and power in the definition of doctrine. Rather than an extraneous element in the debate, as it has often been perceived, the two-keys argument is pivotal to the proper understanding of Ockham’s ecclesiology and the pope’s own, as it serves to articulate the twin notions they both advance of “authority to inquire” and “authority to determine” on a question of faith. By focusing away from the usual template of the competing claims of infallibility and sovereignty, this article hopes to bring to light the profound similarities in their respective views on doctrinal authority and the value accorded to the theological enterprise.

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