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Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan and the Theological Origins of Secular International Politics
University of Gothenburg.
2011 (English)In: Political Theology, ISSN 1462-317X, E-ISSN 1743-1719, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 553-576Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, the type of secularism accepted in much scholarly work on international affairs has been criticized for its theological roots and character. This article substantiates this view by re-appraising the intellectual contribution of Thomas Hobbes to the secularization of politics and the separation of state and Church. The argument developed demonstrates that the English philosopher, far from simply excluding religion from politics, participated in the creation of politics as a form of theology. Through scriptural exegesis and based on a specific doctrine of salvation, Hobbes privatized religion, temporalized salvation, and transfered the halo of sanctity of the Church to secular sovereigns. This resulted in the legitimization of secular states as saviours from the violence and intolerance of religion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 12, no 4, p. 553-576
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-50184DOI: 10.1558/poth.v12i4.553OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-50184DiVA, id: diva2:909058
Available from: 2016-03-04 Created: 2016-03-04 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Gelot, Ludwig

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