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Department ofHistory

Thomas Turley

Thomas Turley

Associate Professor

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


The World of St. Francis

Topics in Medieval and Early Modern History


HIST 11A Civilization and the City

HIST 100 Historical Interpretation

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

HIST 118 Representation, Rights, and Democracy, 1050-1792

HIST 120 The Crusades

HIST 126 Conflicts in Medieval Christianity

HIST 127 The World of St. Francis


“Guido Terreni and the Errors of Marsilius,” Carmelus 58 (2011), pp. 11-31.

“Making a Heresiarch: Guido Terreni’s Attack on Joachim of Fiore,” in Religion, Power, and Resistance from the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Centuries: Playing the Heresy Card, ed. K. Bollermann, T.M. Izbicki, and C.J. Nederman (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 103-125.

“In the Footsteps of Huguccio: Guido Terreni’s Revision of Canonistic Ecclesiology,” in Guido Terreni, O. Carm. (+1342): Studies and Texts, ed. A. Fidora (Textes et Études du Moyen Âge, 78) (Barcelona/Madrid: Fédération Internationale des Instituts d’Études du Moyen Âge, 2015), pp. 215-239.

“History and Legitimacy in the Dominican Responses to John of Pouilly,” in Inventing Modernity in Medieval European Thought, ca. 1100 - ca. 1500, ed. B. Koch and C. J. Nederman (Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, 51) (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2018), pp. 53-70

Works In Progress

Book, Guido Terreni and the Crisis of Medieval Papalism