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The Secularisation of the Confessional State : The Political Thought of Christian Thomasius - Ian Hunter

The Secularisation of the Confessional State

The Political Thought of Christian Thomasius


Published: 21st January 2008
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Christian Thomasius (1655-1728) was a tireless campaigner against the political enforcement of religion in the early modern confessional state. In a whole series of combative disputations - against heresy and witchcraft prosecutions, and in favour of religious toleration - Thomasius battled to lay the intellectual groundwork for the separation of church and state and the juridical basis for pluralistic societies. In this text, Ian Hunter departs from the usual view of Thomasius as a natural law moral philosopher. In addition to investigating his anti-scholastic cultural politics, Hunter discusses Thomasius' work in public and church law, particularly his disputations arguing for the toleration of heretics, providing a revealing comparison with Locke's arguments on the same topic. If Locke sought to base toleration in the subjective rights protecting Christian citizens against an intolerant state, Thomasius grounded it in the state's duty to impose toleration as an obligation on intolerant citizens.

Review of the hardback: 'Hunter's excellent book offers the first really convincing account of Thomasius' political thought in any language. It is a major contribution to our understanding of the early German Enlightenment and to the development of German political thought.' Joachim Whaley, The English Historical Review

Religion, politics, and the university
The reform of philosophy
Natural law as political psychology
Staatskirchenrecht: the religious rights of the prince
The toleration of heretics
Appendix: The right of Protestant princes regarding heretics
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521880558
ISBN-10: 0521880556
Series: Ideas in Context
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 234
Published: 21st January 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.52