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Hobbes and independency
Author/s: Johann Sommerville 
Year:  2004 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  19 FullText PDF:  80 KB

The affinity which the English Leviathan evinces for Independency is the focus of Johann Sommerville's article. Among the links the author traces is a concern to stress that clergymen have no independent jurisdiction over the laity, in contrast to positions shared by Catholics, Presbyterians and Anglicans. But, Hobbes has no doubt that the Independents themselves were fanatics, prescribing religious duties that might conflict with those of the lawful sovereign. Independents also taught resistance to the sovereign, while it is a key aspect of Hobbes's political theory to teach submission to political authority. To summarize, while Leviathan agrees with the Independents in rejecting divine right theories of church government, it cannot be read as a defense of Independent thinking in general.

Johann Sommerville, in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 1/2004, pp. , DOI:


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