Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (2):257-271 (1996)
Notes and Discussions Calvin and Hobbes, or, Hobbes as an Orthodox Christian Three years ago, in the proceedings of an Italian conference on Hobbes and Spinoza, I published an article arguing that Hobbes was at best a deist, and most likely an atheist? In a recent book on Hobbes, A. P. Martinich devoted an appendix to criticizing that article, as part of his case that Hobbes is not merely a theist, but an orthodox Christian, and specifically, that he had "a strong commitment" to the Calvinist branch of the Church of England.' It has been suggested that I respond to Martinich's rebuttal, and I think I should. Martinich's work is arguably the best available book of its kind.3 Pursuing the issues this book raises may help us to see why it is worth our while to be curious about the differences between the English text of Leviathan, first published in 165 x, and the Latin text of that work, first published in 1668. This is a topic generally ignored in English-language discussions of Hobbes and one in which I have a special interest.4 The great virtue of Martinich's book is that he is very precise about what his thesis See '"I Durst Not Write So Boldly' or, How to Read Hobbes' Theological-Political Treatise," in Hobbes e Spinoza, Atti del Convegno Internazionale, Urbino, i4-~ 7 ottobre, 1988 , ed. by Daniela Bostrenghi, intro, by Emilia Giancotti . By 'deist' I understand someone who believes in a personal God, but rejects divine..
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