Hans Blom

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In the political competition between the religions of the sixteenth and sev-enteenth centuries, the laws of nature and of nations played a crucial role. Universal and supranational in scope, these vocabularies were a means of communication between opposing camps as much as a further area for disa-greement and debate. Reformation in its various shades and shapes as well as the Counterreformation invested in articulating their understanding of nat-ural law situated somewhere between eternal and civil law and of the law of nations, sometimes defining their own exceptional state of true believers viz- a- viz the rest of the world. This way the languages of natural law and the law of nations were part and parcel of the ideological self- identification of the sacred polities of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. How did this particular interest to explore the law of nature and ius gentium in the religious setting of Early Modern states originate in the first place and what was the dynamics of the ensuing debates both internal to each polity and between them? Was Early Modern natural law specifically Protestant as some claimed, or Christian in a more general sense? Does it represent a secularizing turn, or are such claims just another element of the debates? This book studies answers to these ques-tions from their early articulation in Lutheranism to their reverberation in the Neapolitan Enlightenment and the writings of Giambattista Vico.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSacred Polities, Natural Law and the Law of Nations in the 16th-17th Centuries
EditorsHans Blom
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill Publishers
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-50178-2
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-49853-2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2022


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