The Allegiance of Thomas Hobbes by Jeffrey R. Collins

By Jeffrey R. Collins

The Allegiance of Thomas Hobbes deals a revisionist interpretation of Thomas Hobbes's evolving reaction to the English Revolution. It rejects the existing figuring out of Hobbes as a constant, if idiosyncratic, royalist, and vindicates the contemporaneous view that the e-book of Leviathan marked Hobbes's lodging with England's progressive regime. In maintaining those conclusions, Professor Collins foregrounds the non secular beneficial properties of Hobbes's writings, and continues a contextual concentrate on the wider spiritual dynamics of the English Revolution itself. Hobbes and the Revolution are either put in the tumultuous old approach that observed the rising English country coercively safe jurisdictional keep an eye on over nationwide faith and the company church. noticeable within the mild of this background, Thomas Hobbes emerges as a theorist who moved with, instead of opposed to, the innovative currents of his age. The most powerful declare of the e-book is that Hobbes used to be stimulated by means of his deep detestation of clerical strength to wreck with the Stuart reason and to justify the non secular regulations of England's post-regicidal masters, together with Oliver Cromwell. Methodologically, Professor Collins vitamins highbrow or linguistic contextual research with unique study into Hobbes's biography, the prosopography of his affiliates, the reception of Hobbes's released works, and the character of the English Revolution as a non secular clash. This multi-dimensional contextual method produces, between different culmination: a brand new knowing of the political implications of Leviathan; an unique interpretation of Hobbes's civil conflict historical past, Behemoth; a clearer photo of Hobbes's profession throughout the ignored interval of the 1650s; and a revisionist interpretation of Hobbes's response to the emergence of English republicanism. via proposing Thomas Hobbes as a political actor inside a accurately outlined political context, Professor Collins has recovered the importance of Hobbes's writings as artefacts of the English Revolution.

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117 Men did not fear God directly, rather they feared the unknown, and they personified this fear into a supernatural, incorporeal, and omnipotent entity. 118 Reason did not lead humans to a conception of God. 119 They had merely instrumental value. Hobbes’s projection theory of religion might have been reconciled with a sincere Christianity if it had been paired with a faith in revelation. 120 However, this assurance was fatally undermined by Hobbes’s deep scepticism about all revealed sources of divine ‘commandment and direction’.

Eight Bookes (1611), 89–125. , 322–9. 45 Ibid. 329–30. The Uses of Christianity 20 Old Testament model of earthly sovereignty untouched. The Kingdom of God, as proclaimed by Jesus, did not belong to this world. 46 Jesus Christ had bequeathed to his apostles no coercive authority, and he gave no mandate for the Christian church to consider itself spiritually sovereign, even under pagan rulers. 48 Only after the conversion of Constantine was coercive authority exercised by the Christian church, and then only by the will of the sovereign.

260–9; 458–9. Aspects, 383–431. 112 30 The Uses of Christianity In Leviathan, Hobbes devised a strikingly modern ‘projection’ theory of religion. Religion grew from basic mental seeds, chief among which were a driving curiosity about the cause of all things and a deep anxiety about the future. The desire to know causes and effects was basic to all regulated ‘Mentall Discourse’, but religion went beyond this and attempted to ascertain the first cause and the final effect. 114 Ultimate causes and effects were not subject to such interactions.

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