Jesus Is the Christ": The Political Theology of "Leviathan

Journal of Religious Ethics 25 (1):35 - 64 (1997)
Abstract
There are three views on the meaning of Hobbes's theology for his political theory: (1) Hobbes's political theory can be understood completely without taking account of his theology; (2) Hobbes in fact teaches a "divine command theory of political obligation"; (3) his theology is a rhetorical weapon in his polemics against Catholics and Presbyterians, whom he suspects of seeking to endanger the political peace in the interest of their own religious goals. To show that the third is the most plausible, the author examines Hobbes's reversal of the medieval doctrine of the "two swords" as a departure point for a consideration of the content of Hobbes's theology as well as its function in his argument. The author suggests that, with his functional view of faith, Hobbes is the founding father of modern political theology and that the realization of this fact might rightly raise doubts about the theological defensibility of political theology.
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