By Guy G. Stroumsa

ISBN-10: 0674048601

ISBN-13: 9780674048607

We see the note “religion” far and wide, but can we comprehend what it skill, and is there a constant around the globe realizing? Who came across faith and in what context? In a brand new technology, man Stroumsa bargains an cutting edge and robust argument that the comparative research of faith reveals its starting place in early glossy Europe. the area within which this new type emerged was once marked by way of 3 significant ancient and highbrow phenomena: the increase of ecu empires, that gave delivery to ethnological interest; the Reformation, which completely altered Christianity; and the discovery of philology, a self-discipline that reworked Western highbrow concept. by contrast advanced historic backdrop, Stroumsa publications us throughout the lives and writings of the lads who got here to outline the note “religion.” As Stroumsa boldly argues, the fashionable research of faith, a brand new technological know-how, was once made attainable via a dialectical procedure among Catholic and Protestant students. historical Israelite faith, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Manichaeanism, Zoroastrianism, the sacred ideals of the hot international, and people of Greece, Rome, India, and China, composed the complicated floor upon which “religion,” a most up-to-date class, was once came across.

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Nevertheless, some important medieval theologians Questioning the Power of the Sovereign 25 stressed the contrary and argued, like St Thomas Aquinas, that people had a right to rise up against an ungodly prince. 8 In the sixteenth century, these aspirations could be turned in and focused on a direction favorable to the king and his regime. Kingship was sacred and eternal. Because the king's power was divine, anyone who offended him was doomed. 9 Immortal kingship is discussed in detail by Ernst Kantorowicz, whose work explains the communal nature and the divinity of Henry's crown.

This was a key issue, and it was in constant use whenever it was time to prove that unquestioned obedience belonged to the king, and not to the pope. Whenever further evidence for strengthening the king's power and its divine character was needed, it was readily available. 6 Therefore, the people had no choice but to obey the ruler they were given, evil or not. 7 Uprisings were thus regarded as directed against God. They originated in Antichrist, and all rebels were his children, no matter what the cause for their discontent.

The London Augustinians were notorious for their absenteeism from night masses: only one priest would sing, accompanied by a mere handful of children. 24 In the end, all such failures were failures of the head of the house, who was branded as incapable of fulfilling his duty and keeping discipline in his house. 25 The rule was sometimes said to have lost its strictness and critics alleged that people had become weaker than their ancestors. Some supporters of the old faith, such as Sir Thomas More, suggested relaxation of the rule as a remedy; they thought that a laxer rule would probably be better kept than a stricter one.

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A New Science: The Discovery of Religion in the Age of Reason by Guy G. Stroumsa


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