Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hobbes on Politics and Religion$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Laurens van Apeldoorn and Robin Douglass

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803409

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803409.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 September 2019

The Theocratic Leviathan

The Theocratic Leviathan

Hobbes’s Arguments for the Identity of Church and State

Chapter:
(p.10) 1 The Theocratic Leviathan
Source:
Hobbes on Politics and Religion
Author(s):

Johan Olsthoorn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198803409.003.0002

Hobbes’s views on church–state relations go well beyond Erastianism. Rather than claiming that the state holds supremacy over the church, Hobbes argued that church and state are identical in Christian commonwealths. This chapter shows that Hobbes advanced two distinct arguments for the church–state identity thesis over time. Both arguments are of considerable interest. The argument found in De Cive explains how the sovereign unifies a multitude of Christians into one personified church—without, intriguingly, any appeal to representation. Leviathan’s argument is premised on the sovereign’s authorized representation of Christian subjects. Authorization explains why, from Leviathan onwards, full sacerdotal powers are ex officio attributed to the sovereign. In Hobbes’s mature theory, every clerical power, including baptism and consecration, derives from the sovereign—now labelled ‘the Supreme Pastor’. Developments in Hobbes’s account of church personation thus explain Leviathan’s theocratic turn.

Keywords:   Thomas Hobbes, church–state relations, Erastianism, representation, authorization, personation, corporation, ecclesiology, sacerdotal kingship, theocratic government

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.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .