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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

Religion a Part of Justice

We haven’t had a Hemmingsen post in a while, and I know how it has made you pine. Fret not; I’m here for you. In their discussion of the virtues, the magisterial Reformers followed the classical tradition in considering religion to fall under the category of, or to be a part of, justice, which can […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Ecclesiastical Polity Natural Law Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Moral Law and Magisterial Design in Romans 13

It is well known that the Magisterial Reformers treated the Decalogue as a summary of the moral law, that is, as teaching the precepts of the law of nature. In that way, “divine law”–the moral law as revealed–was to serve as a standard for public life in concord with natural law, since the two are […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

Government Founded on Reasons

The Calvinist doctrine of God is sometimes caricatured as naked voluntarism, the triumph of the will: God is sheer power and does what he likes–as if to say Calvin comes down on one side of the Euthyphro dilemma, the side that says the pious is pious because it is loved by God, his loving it makes […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

Obedience and Unjust Laws (5)

I said yesterday that I would return to the passage of Augustine that Aquinas quotes, so let me do that here. In De libero arbitrio (“On the Free Choice of the Will”) 1.5, Augustine says, ironically: Non ergo lex iusta est, quae dat potestatem vel viatori ut latronem, ne ab eo ipse occidatur, occidat; vel cuipiam […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Nota Bene

Obedience and Unjust Laws (4)

(Parts 1, 2, and 3) Aquinas, too, holds that unjust laws (that is, laws that do not accord with or derive from the law of nature) do not have the force of law; they are, rather, corruptiones legis–corruptions of the law. In response to objections concerning the seemingly adiaphorous nature of some human legislation, the diversity […]

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Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Natural Law Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine The Two Kingdoms

Obedience and Unjust Laws

It is a commonplace of the classical and Christian traditions of natural law that unjust laws do not have the force of law and therefore do not compel obedience from subjects, and perhaps at the present time this old locus communis is worth revisiting. When philosophers and theologians make statements like the one I just made, […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Explorations in Exile (3)

(Part 1; Part 2) The Vulgate is a good translation of the Bible. Stop laughing. No, really, the Vulgate is a good translation of the Bible. It’s not perfect; but, then again, neither is the ESV, the NIV, or the KJV. So it might be worthwhile to look at how an ancient translator who knew […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Office and Person in Lex, Rex

Even when it is agreed that magistratical power is ordained of God, as Paul says in Romans 13, there are various theories as to how that power is applied to any particular individual in office. Is they king (e.g.) appointed immediately by God, or mediately by the people? George Buchanan famously advanced and argued for […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Getting the Grammar Right

Quick! Review Conditional Forms! Conveniently: The difference between indicative and counterfactual conditionals, in a context of past time reference, is one of emphasis, and can be illustrated with a pair of examples in which the if clause is in the past indicative in the first example but in the pluperfect subjunctive in the second: If […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene

Godfrey of Fontaines (1250-1309) on the Body Politic as Body Mystical

From Ernst Kantorowicz’s magisterial The King’s Two Bodies: Godfrey of Fontaines, a Belgian philosopher of the late thirteenth century, for example, succeeded in integrating very neatly the corpus mysticum into the Aristotelian scheme. To him the “mystical body” appeared not as a supra-natural foundation, but as a gift of nature. His major premise was that “everyone is […]