Jesuit Political Thought: The Society of Jesus and the State, C.1540-1630 (Ideas in Context No. 70)

Jesuit Political Thought: The Society of Jesus and the State, C.1540-1630 (Ideas in Context No. 70)

By: Harro Hopfl (author)Paperback

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Harro Hopfl presents here a full-length study of the single most influential organized group of scholars and pamphleteers in early modern Europe (1540-1630), namely the Jesuits. He explores the academic and political controversies in which they were engaged in and their contribution to academic discourse around ideas of 'the state' and 'politics'. He pays particular attention to their actual teaching concerning doctrines for whose menacing practical implications Jesuits generally were vilified: notably tyrannicide, the papal power to depose rulers, the legitimacy of 'Machiavellian' policies in dealing with heretics and the justifiability of breaking faith with heretics. Hopfl further explores the paradox of the Jesuits' political activities being at once the subject of conspiratorial fantasies but at the same time being widely acknowledged as among the foremost intellects of their time, with their thought freely cited and appropriated. This is an important work of scholarship.

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About Author

Harro Hopfl is one of the leading historians of ideas writing in Britain today.


Introduction; 1. The character and work of the society of Jesus; 2. The society's organizational ideas; 3. The church, the society and heresy; 4. Jesuit reason of state and religious uniformity; 5. Jesuit reason of state and Fides; 6. Reason of state, prudence and the academic curriculum; 7. The theory of political authority; 8. Limited government, compacts and the states of nature; 9. The theory of law; 10. The common good and individual rights; 11. Tyrannicide, the oath of allegiance controversy and the assassination of Henri IV; 12. The Papal Potestas Indirecta.

Product Details

  • publication date: 19/06/2008
  • ISBN13: 9780521066754
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 428
  • ID: 9780521066754
  • weight: 630
  • ISBN10: 0521066751

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