Enlightenment Roots - Government

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Moses receives God’s word (Winchester bible).  Key resources that informed what constituted legitimate government included the Bible, ancient scholars and custom.  The Bible described a world that was ruled by kings or emperors, in which subjects must obey even wicked rulers.  As all power came from God then this was a religious duty; to rebel was to be disobedient to God (and face damnation).  The power of kings was only limited when their demands came into conflict with those of God. Illuminated Letters, Illuminated Manuscript, Medieval Art, Renaissance Art, Aliens And Ufos, The Good Shepherd, Joy Of Life, Art Pages, Middle Ages
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Moses receives God’s word (Winchester bible). Key resources that informed what constituted legitimate government included the Bible, ancient scholars and custom. The Bible described a world that was ruled by kings or emperors, in which subjects must obey even wicked rulers. As all power came from God then this was a religious duty; to rebel was to be disobedient to God (and face damnation). The power of kings was only limited when their demands came into conflict with those of God.
William of Ockham.  Later Christian theologians, however, such as William of Ockham in the fourteenth century, did argue that on rare occasions a ruler could be rightfully overthrown, for example when they became a despot. Ancient pagan authorities such as Aristotle also allowed that in some circumstances rebellion might be justified. Ockham Razor, Medieval Philosophy, Western Philosophy, Encyclopedia Of Philosophy, Occam's Razor, English Wikipedia, Thomas Aquinas, 14th Century
William of Ockham - Wikipedia
William of Ockham. Later Christian theologians, however, such as William of Ockham in the fourteenth century, did argue that on rare occasions a ruler could be rightfully overthrown, for example when they became a despot. Ancient pagan authorities such as Aristotle also allowed that in some circumstances rebellion might be justified.
Charlemagne. In the Carolingian Empire, most notably under Charlemagne in the eighth century, a ruler was a religious figure who had a duty not only to enforce the law but to obey it.  Laws were established partly by royal decree but also according to custom, which implied that rulership was to some extent based upon the consent of the governed. Kingdom Of Jerusalem, Ottoman Turks, Pope Leo, Archduke, Carolingian, Warrior King, Cycle 2, Charlemagne, Basque
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Charlemagne. In the Carolingian Empire, most notably under Charlemagne in the eighth century, a ruler was a religious figure who had a duty not only to enforce the law but to obey it. Laws were established partly by royal decree but also according to custom, which implied that rulership was to some extent based upon the consent of the governed.
Thomas Aquinas.  From the twelfth century, distinctions were made between different kinds of law and rights.  Natural law, for example, would be similar to individual human rights today in that it transcended the law of specific communities and, being rooted in the moral, religious and biological nature of the human race, recognised, in a fundamental sense, the equality of all its members. Eg, self-preservation would be an essential moral right. Catholic Memes, Catholic Saints, Catholic Church, Roman Catholic, Catholic Theology, Catholic Christian, Prayer Before Studying, Religion Vs Spirituality, Spirituality Quotes
Natural law - Wikipedia
Thomas Aquinas. From the twelfth century, distinctions were made between different kinds of law and rights. Natural law, for example, would be similar to individual human rights today in that it transcended the law of specific communities and, being rooted in the moral, religious and biological nature of the human race, recognised, in a fundamental sense, the equality of all its members. Eg, self-preservation would be an essential moral right.
That a man should have authority over a woman could be underpinned religiously by the primacy of Adam over Eve.  The authority of a parent over their child (even into adulthood) could be grounded in biology.  Natural rights could be overridden, but there would have to be good reason.  As well as natural law, there was the law of nations, which was more expedient and mutable, and the divine law of God, which was eternal and immutable. Medieval Baby, Medieval World, Medieval History, Medieval Games, Medieval Crafts, Medieval Manuscript, Cleves, Art Sacre
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That a man should have authority over a woman could be underpinned religiously by the primacy of Adam over Eve. The authority of a parent over their child (even into adulthood) could be grounded in biology. Natural rights could be overridden, but there would have to be good reason. As well as natural law, there was the law of nations, which was more expedient and mutable, and the divine law of God, which was eternal and immutable.
All governments the need a system of institutions and laws to regulate property use and ownership, raising questions about the status of property.  The Bible sanctioned individual property rights (including slavery) and rights to hold property in common (eg monastic communalism, itself linked to Biblically derived beliefs regarding voluntary celibacy and the fellowship of Christ and his disciples). Property was a gift from God that should be treated, to some extent at least, as a common good. Property Rights, Library Catalog, British Library, Disciple, Harley, Government, Scene, Bible
All governments the need a system of institutions and laws to regulate property use and ownership, raising questions about the status of property. The Bible sanctioned individual property rights (including slavery) and rights to hold property in common (eg monastic communalism, itself linked to Biblically derived beliefs regarding voluntary celibacy and the fellowship of Christ and his disciples). Property was a gift from God that should be treated, to some extent at least, as a common good.
Inevitably, the boundaries of rights and legitimate authority were keenly patrolled and subject to interpretation.   One area of controversy was papal fullness of power which contended that the Pope had whatever power was possessed by any other authority in the Church, a claim disputed by those who argued that bishops obtained their authority directly from God and were not mere agents of the Pope. Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Art, St Ambrose, Medieval Paintings, Skeleton Art, St. Peter, African American History
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Inevitably, the boundaries of rights and legitimate authority were keenly patrolled and subject to interpretation. One area of controversy was papal fullness of power which contended that the Pope had whatever power was possessed by any other authority in the Church, a claim disputed by those who argued that bishops obtained their authority directly from God and were not mere agents of the Pope.
Giles of Rome.  Another row was sparked in the 13th and 14th centuries by theologians such as Giles who asserted the right of Popes to intervene in secular affairs on the basis that the universe was structured as a single hierarchy and that all authority flowed via the Pope from God.  This was challenged by advocates in favour of secular authority.  Marsilius of Padua argued that power was derived from the people and that a people could only have one ruler with whom that power was entrusted. Age Of Discovery, Late Middle Ages, Medieval Period, Hierarchy, Theologian, Roman Empire, Pope
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Giles of Rome. Another row was sparked in the 13th and 14th centuries by theologians such as Giles who asserted the right of Popes to intervene in secular affairs on the basis that the universe was structured as a single hierarchy and that all authority flowed via the Pope from God. This was challenged by advocates in favour of secular authority. Marsilius of Padua argued that power was derived from the people and that a people could only have one ruler with whom that power was entrusted.
Absolutist states increased centralisation of power, bureaucratisation and a curtailed competing sources of authority such as by the aristocracy, local gentry and the Church.   However, at the same time that religion was being tied more closely to concepts of monarchy and power, society as a whole was becoming less dominated by the Church.  Growing affluence through trade as well as the expansion of professional groups was creating an increasingly secular environment. Clip Art Vintage, Images Noêl Vintages, Images Vintage, Vintage Large, Vintage Black, Inspiration Tattoos, Tattoo Ideas, Coroa Tattoo, Desenho New School
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Absolutist states increased centralisation of power, bureaucratisation and a curtailed competing sources of authority such as by the aristocracy, local gentry and the Church. However, at the same time that religion was being tied more closely to concepts of monarchy and power, society as a whole was becoming less dominated by the Church. Growing affluence through trade as well as the expansion of professional groups was creating an increasingly secular environment.
The creating of increasingly secular environments led to the emergence of three seventeenth-century philosophers who were to lay the foundations of Enlightenment political thought: Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679); John Locke (1632–1704); and Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677). Giorgio Vasari, American Colonies, Dutch Golden Age, Dutch Masters, European Art, Stock Exchange, Painting Reproductions, Rotterdam, Architecture
The creating of increasingly secular environments led to the emergence of three seventeenth-century philosophers who were to lay the foundations of Enlightenment political thought: Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679); John Locke (1632–1704); and Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677).
For Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) the authority to govern was derived not from God but man, by means of an implicit social contract.   In his great work on political philosophy, Leviathan (1651), he contemplated what life would be like in a state of nature, i.e. without government or laws or arbitration.  He pointed out that in a society where people pursued what was conducive to their own individual well-being without fear of certain punishment, the consequence would be a ‘war of all against all’. John Locke, Social Contract Theory, Thomas Hobbes, Famous Philosophers, Age Of Enlightenment, Brainy Quotes, Great Thinkers, Famous Last Words, Leviathan
Thomas Hobbes - Wikipedia
For Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) the authority to govern was derived not from God but man, by means of an implicit social contract. In his great work on political philosophy, Leviathan (1651), he contemplated what life would be like in a state of nature, i.e. without government or laws or arbitration. He pointed out that in a society where people pursued what was conducive to their own individual well-being without fear of certain punishment, the consequence would be a ‘war of all against all’.
John Locke (1632–1704) also adopted a social contract model but unlike Hobbes he drew the conclusion that if government failed to promote the public good and protect people’s rights then its subjects had the right to resist and replace it.  He held in favour of majority rule, the separation of executive and legislative powers, against churches having coercive power over their members and against the state having the right to compel an individual to follow any particular religious doctrine. Majority Rule, Classical Liberalism, Social Equality, Social Contract, Political Ideology, Colonial America, Dubious, Stone
Was John Locke Really a Liberal?
John Locke (1632–1704) also adopted a social contract model but unlike Hobbes he drew the conclusion that if government failed to promote the public good and protect people’s rights then its subjects had the right to resist and replace it. He held in favour of majority rule, the separation of executive and legislative powers, against churches having coercive power over their members and against the state having the right to compel an individual to follow any particular religious doctrine.