Calvin and the Whigs A Study in Historical Political Theology

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This new study investigates the relationship between Calvinism and the natural rights/social contract tradition of constitutionalism, as epitomized in the work of John Locke.

This relationship has been debated for some time, and the consensus is that Locke’s theory constitutes the further development of Calvinist theory. But upon closer analysis, that conclusion proves entirely flawed. Calvinism proves to be worlds apart from the political philosophy of John Locke. It proves to be the mature fruit of the medieval “two swords” form of government, in which church and state share public power, rather than an early stage on the road to the dissociation of church and state, a road which Locke put us firmly upon with his own formulation of political power. Indeed, upon closer inspection Calvinism proves to be the product of a thousand-year tradition of Western political thought commencing with Augustine and moving through the Carolingian Renaissance and the Papal Revolution. That history is rediscovered and outlined in this book, as the preliminary means for recovering the true meaning of political Calvinism and its utter discontinuity with the modernism that commenced with Locke’s paradigm. It also helps disabuse us of the notion that history is linear, and that progress is straightforward. Rather, it helps us to understand the deformational period of history in which we live, and the need for a return to a confess­ional under­stand­ing of law, the state, and constitutionalism.

Publication date: June 6, 2017


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ISBN 978–90–76660–47–9 paperback, 978-90-76660-48-6 hardback
Pages 192
Interior Ink Black & white
Dimensions (inches) 6 x 9 
Price (list): $13.99/£10.99 paper, $23.99/£17.99/€20.99 hardback
Calvin and the Whigs: A Study in Historical Political Theology

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