Thomas Hobbes, one of the most important figures in the history of political philosophy, is still widely regarded as a predominantly secular thinker. Yet a great deal of his political thought was motivated by the need to address problems of a distinctively religious nature. This is the first collection of essays dedicated to the complex and rich intersections between Hobbes's political and religious thought. Written by experts in the field, the volume opens up new
directions for thinking about his treatment of religion as a political phenomenon and the political dimensions of his engagement with Christian doctrines and their history. The chapters investigate his strategies for showing how his provocative political positions could be accepted by different
religious audiences for whom fidelity to religious texts was of crucial importance, while also considering the legacy of his ideas and examining their relevance for contemporary concerns. Some chapters do so by pursuing mainly historical inquiries about the motives and circumstances of Hobbes's writings, while others reconstruct the logic of his arguments and test their philosophical coherence. They thus offer wide-ranging and sometimes conflicting assessments of Hobbes's ideas, yet they all
demonstrate how closely intertwined his political and religious preoccupations are and thereby showcase how this perspective can help us to better understand his thought.
Laurens van Apeldoorn is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and a member of the Centre for Political Philosophy at Leiden University, the Netherlands. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Toronto, the University of Montreal, King's College London, and the University of Leuven. His research has appeared in journals including Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie, History of European Ideas, and Hobbes Studies. Robin Douglass is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory in the Department of Political Economy, King's College London. Before arriving at King's, he studied at the Universities of York and Exeter. His research focuses on seventeenth- and eighteenth- century political philosophy. He is the author of Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, Free Will, and the Passions (2015) and has recently published articles in journals including the American Journal of Political Science, History of Political Thought, European Journal of Political Theory, and The Review of Politics.