J. Edwards's The Radical Attitude and Modern Political Theory PDF

By J. Edwards

ISBN-10: 0230800904

ISBN-13: 9780230800908

ISBN-10: 1349544515

ISBN-13: 9781349544516

The novel angle and glossy Political conception makes a speciality of the looks of modernity that may be top defined as radical. First showing within the 16th century, the perspective is healthier noticeable now not as a coherent ideology or culture yet as a chain of conceptual assets that proceed to notify political discourse within the current.

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Several commentators have argued that Calvin’s conception of church government paves the way for the tightly organised radical political movements of the seventeenth century. 59 As Quentin Skinner points out, this kind of interpretation glosses over the fact that there is little in Calvin’s writings that supports revolutionary challenges to secular authority. 60 Calvin’s most developed considerations of the character of political authority, obedience, and resistance can be found in chapter 20 of Book 4 of the Institutes of the Christian Religion, headed ‘Civil Government’.

The answer begins with the assertion that a lord’s power to act can only be legitimately derived from divine law and not from his own will. 45 Like Luther, the author of the address portrays the function of temporal authority as part of the seamless order of nature that has been created according to God’s law. For him, however, rebellion is justified against authority just as we are justified in destroying trees that bear only rotten fruit, or cutting off a limb to save the rest of the body. Also like Luther, the distinction between the inner and outer, spiritual and fleshly realm is taken up, but only as a means of denouncing his support for corrupt temporal authority: Their [princes and lords’] power derives ultimately either from the spirit or from the flesh.

But if their authority is derived from the flesh, it is devilish and a most openly declared enemy of God. May God pity us that such fleshly authority should rule over Christian people. And unceasingly they may talk about two kinds of commandments, namely the divine, which concerns the salvation of the soul, and the political, which concerns the common good. Oh God, these commandments cannot be separated from each other. 46 Quite directly, then, the author denounces any attempt to divorce a domain of political commandments or laws from the divine.

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The Radical Attitude and Modern Political Theory by J. Edwards

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