Modern and Medieval Representation
DOI link for Modern and Medieval Representation
Modern and Medieval Representation book
This chapter argues that modern and medieval representation are different ways of life, not merely different kinds of representative machinery, and that the difference is most visible in the secularism of modern representation. Political or philosophical opinion once held that representative government is a modern artifice, and scholarly opinion holds that it is a medieval inheritance. By serving as the medieval contribution to human freedom, representative government was useful to the opinion that man has a history rather than a fixed nature, but it was also necessary to that opinion. The secularism of modern representation explains its strange attachment to both limited government and absolute sovereignty. Because the "people" of modern representation have no ruling part it does not follow that modern representation is democratic. To distinguish modern from medieval representation one must define modern representation and know its medieval sources.