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The Watershed of Modern PoliticsLaw, Virtue, Kingship, and Consent (1300-1650)$
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Francis Oakley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300194432

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300194432.001.0001

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The Politics of Deference

The Politics of Deference

Old Regal Sacrality and New Divine Right of Kingship

(p.128) 5. The Politics of Deference
The Watershed of Modern Politics

Francis Oakley

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the theopolitical thinking elaborated by Magisterial Reformers. These reformers believed in the sacrosanct nature of the customary provisions embedded in the “ancient constitution,” imposing traditional limits on the reach of royal power and serving accordingly to protect a range of individual “liberties.” They also upheld the role of consent in the origin as well as the legitimation of political authority together with the concomitant endorsement of the right of oppressed subjects to resist monarchical tyranny. At a deeper level, they adhered to one or the other version of the tradition of natural law discourse that stretched back all the way to the Hellenistic era.

Keywords:   theopolitical thinking, sacrosanct nature, customary provisions, ancient constitution, political authority, monarchical tyranny, natural law, Hellenistic era

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