Santa Clara University

History department

Thomas Turley


Associate Professor
O'Connor Hall 11
tel (408)554-4438
fax (408)554-2181

Office Hours Spring 2014:

Monday and Wednesday 1:00pm-2:00pm


My classes are linked with my research interests. The introductory course I teach explores the impact of the city on human life from the Neolithic period to the seventeenth century, while my advanced courses focus on the European Middle Ages, particularly the religious, intellectual, and legal developments of that era. Medieval conflicts over religion and politics, and the medieval revival and reinterpretation of classical governmental notions, had surprising and profound consequences for later European, American, and even global society. The last course I have developed, “Representation, Rights, and Democracy, 1050-1792,” treats one of these developments: the evolution of the unique conceptions of government and the citizen-subject that we now closely identify with modernity. My recent research explores the pivotal shifts in European political thought that emerged during the bitter conflicts among ecclesiastical leaders, secular authorities, and religious dissidents in the fourteenth century. The articles I have published so far have centered on lesser-known controversialists of the period; a book-length project will examine the full impact of their debates.


Ph.D. Cornell University, 1978                                      
M.A. Fordham University, 1970
B.A. St. Joseph’s Seminary and College, 1966

"Guido Terreni, Heresy, and the Reconstruction of Tradition, 1317 -1342," Tradition and Ecstasy: The Agony of the Fourteenth Century, ed. N. van Deusen (Ottawa, 1997). 51-68

"Ab apostolorum temporibus: The Primitive Church in the Ecclesiology of Three Medieval Carmelites," in Studia in honorem Alfonsi M. Stickler, ed. P. Marcuzzi (Studia et Textus Historiae Iuris Canonici, vol. 7) Rome, 1992), 559-580

"John XXII and the Franciscans: A Reappraisal," in Popes, Teachers, and Canon Law in the Middle Ages: Festschrift for Brian Tierney, eds. J. Sweeney and S. Chodorow (Ithaca, NY, 1989), 74-88

Works In Progress

Book, Guido Terreni and the Crisis of Medieval Papalism


Medieval or Early Modern Europe



HIST 11 Western Civilization: Ancient

HIST 12 Western Civilization: Medieval and Early Modern

HIST 13 Western Civilization: Modern

HIST 100 Historical Interpretation

HIST 117 State and Church in the Middle Ages: 1000-1450

HIST 126 Conflicts in Medieval Christianity

HIST 127 The World of St. Francis

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