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Why is Religion Relevant with Hobbes and Machiavelli who were Usually Portrayed as either Atheist or Pagan and What Points Tie Them Together - Book Report/Review Example

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This work seeks to identify how and why religion matters with the two scholars, an Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli and a British empiricist Thomas Hobbes who proposed the Theory of State and the Social Contract Theory, and what similarities tie them together…
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Why is Religion Relevant with Hobbes and Machiavelli who were Usually Portrayed as either Atheist or Pagan and What Points Tie Them Together
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Download file to see previous pages The special position of Hobbes is that like Machiavelli, he is viewed as atheist or anti-religious in nature. This work seeks to identify how and why religion matters with these two scholars and what similarities tie them together.
In order to understand why religion is an important element in the political views of Machiavelli, it is necessary, to begin with, the time-period he lived and the special and extraordinary events of the time. It is evident from Skinner that throughout their fight against the German Emperors, Italian cities enjoyed the help of the Papacy1. However, later on, the Papacy started showing interest in controlling and ruling the states directly, and the first effect was seen in Lombardy and Tuscany. Soon, the Papal right to collect taxes reached Florence, Siena, and Volterra, along with the efforts to interfere in the internal politics of Florence. Thus, history saw the notorious Bull, Unam Sanctam which claimed that there are two “swords” (realms) in Christian society; the spiritual and the temporal swords2. In addition, it claimed that the temporal sword is below the spiritual sword. Another claim was that the spiritual power possessed the authority to institute earthly power. This again caused intensified efforts by Italian cities to be free from Papal supremacy. This was followed by denunciations of Church courts and clerical immunities in Florence. However, struggling away from the Church did not solve the problems for good. According to Meinecke, by the end of the thirteenth century, the Italian states were marred by internal conflicts, which forced them to change and think about a despotic form of government in order to attain greater civic peace3. Meinecke points out that as a secretary and diplomat of the Florentine Republic until 1512, Machiavelli was well aware of statecraft and the various issues involved. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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