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Theological-Political Origins of the Modern State

The Controversy between James I of England and Cardinal Bellarmine

Theological-Political Origins of the Modern State

The Controversy between James I of England and Cardinal Bellarmine

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Hardback

£74.50

Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press
ISBN: 9780813217918
Number of Pages: 296
Published: 01/11/2010
Contemporary understanding of the modern state is so bound up with the development of liberal democracy that it may appear anachronistic to identify the origins of the modern state in a theological-political configuration of events. Yet in European history, the sovereignty of the people arose from the divine delegation of royal sovereignty to the temporal and spiritual orders -- a theory that the Holy See could not countenance. The controversy that erupted between James I of England and Cardinal Bellarmine following the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 is a striking illustration of this political and ecclesiological dispute over who ultimately holds absolute sovereignty by divine right -- the king or the pope? In this work, Bernard Bourdin clearly sets forth the political thought and theology of James I as an early intellectual foundation for the modern state. He offers a comprehensive examination of James's intense dispute with Bellarmine, a controversy that sent shock waves throughout Europe and had a lasting impact on the rise of the modern state.

Bernard Bourdin, Susan Pickford

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