Translation of William of Ockham’s Work of Ninety Days Vol. 2

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This was Ockham’s first major work in a twenty-year campaign against Pope John XXII. It is a critical commentary on the Pope’s document Quia vir reprobus. It includes a thorough discussion of the place of voluntary poverty in religious life, the place of property in civil life, and its relation to natural rights and human law.


“This English translation of Ockham’s Work of Ninety Days is an outstanding achievement. It enables readers to appreciate at first hand the passion and seriousness of the intellectual and spiritual crisis confronting the Church in fourteenth-century Europe, so vividly portrayed in Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose. . . . Ockham dissects with remorseless logic and barely concealed moral outrage an edict of Pope John XXII that had condemned Michael of Cesena, head of the Franciscan Order for daring to defend the traditional Franciscan position that property could be used without being owned. The translation, introduction and notes of John Kilcullen and John Scott help show how this complex and protracted debate . . . is of fundamental importance within the history both of the Church and of property rights. . . . Students of medieval thought and religion will find that the Work of Ninety Days provides a riveting insight into the conflict between two very different world views.” – Constant J. Mews

“The translation is . . . a watershed event in scholarship on later medieval political theory, theology, and history. Speaking as an experienced translator of Ockham and his contemporaries, I must praise Kilcullen and Scott’s work. They have rendered Ockham’s text into English fluidly and accessibly, yet have remained accurate and faithful to the original. . . . The supporting scholarly apparatus contained in the introduction and appendices is exemplary. . . . The publication of The Work of Ninety Days is in this edition constitutes a signal achievement of Ockham scholarship.” – Cary J. Nedman

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