chapter  4
The Nature of the Infidel: The Anthropology of the Canon Lawyers
ByJames Muldoon
Pages 10

Innocent IV dealt with the nature of the non-European, non-Christian in his commentary on a letter of his predecessor, Innocent III. The letter, Quod super his, was included in the second collection of canon law, the Decretales, in a chapter on vows. When Innocent IV came to write his commentary on the Decretales, he paid little attention to the actual circumstances that generated the letter and raised instead the question of the right of Christians to wage war against infidels at all. Of greater interest was the question of whether Christians had the right to invade, conquer, and govern any and all lands that infidels held. Innocent IV's answer was that God, who made the world and everyone in it, has so ordered matters that all men, believers and infidels alike, can legitimately possess land and property and can select their own rulers.