The Natural Kingdom of God in Hobbes's Political Thought

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In Leviathan, Hobbes outlines the concept of the ‘Kingdome of God by Nature’ or ‘Naturall Kingdome of God’, terms rarely found in English texts at the time. This article traces the concept back to the Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566), which sets forth a threefold understanding of God’s kingdom – the kingdoms of nature, grace, and glory – none of which refer to civil commonwealths on earth. Hobbes abandons this Catholic typology and transforms the concept of the natural kingdom of God to advance a claim often missed by his interpreters: Leviathan-states are the manifestation of a real, not metaphorical, kingdom of God. This argument plays a key role in Leviathan, which identifies the kingdom of God as the Christian doctrine most subject to abuse. Hobbes harshly criticizes Catholic and Presbyterian clergy for claiming to represent God’s kingdom. This claim, he argues, comes with the subversive implication that the church possesses spiritual and temporal authority, and caused great turmoil during the English Civil War. As an alternative, Hobbes points to civil commonwealths as the manifestation of God’s natural kingdom, which is the only form his kingdom currently takes.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
JONTNK
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-12-20
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-12-02

Total views
43 ( #30,912 of 38,886 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
43 ( #9,970 of 38,886 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.