Religion and Rhetoric in Hobbes’s Political Thought
This chapter defends three connected claims. First, we can account for Hobbes’s turn towards the Hebrew Bible by understanding the place of biblical Israel in the political and religious debates of seventeenth-century England. Second, Hobbes’s particular focus on the Mosaic polity is harder to explain. This focus is puzzling because, for both contextual and textual reasons, the period of Davidic kingship seems to fit much better with Hobbes’s philosophical account of the basis of sovereign authority. Third, Hobbes’s focus on the Mosaic polity is best seen as a rhetorical and polemical move designed to appropriate the images and narratives of parliamentarians, republicans, and radicals, and to subversively redirect them in the service of absolutism. There is suggestive textual evidence that Hobbes knew that this was both a radical and a risky strategy.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.