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The Divine Feudal Law

Samuel Pufendorf

Publication Year: 2012

Originally published posthumously, in Latin, in 1695, The Divine Feudal Law sets forth Pufendorf’s basis for the reunion of the Lutheran and Calvinist confessions. This attempt to seek a “conciliation” between the confessions complements the concept of toleration discussed in Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion in Reference to Civil Society. In both works Pufendorf examines the proper way to secure the peaceful coexistence of different confessions in a state.

Although he argued in Of the Nature that maintaining peace and order in the state does not require all subjects to share one belief, Pufendorf also believed that “true” Christianity was beneficial to society. For that reason he advocated a reunion of the confessions on the basis of fundamental truths that he believed were contained in the Bible, saying a conciliation should be enforced not by law but by mutual agreement of the dissenting parties. Therefore, the reunion of the confessions must be accompanied by toleration.

Samuel Pufendorf (1632–1694) was one of the most important figures in early-modern political thought. An exact contemporary of Locke and Spinoza, he transformed the natural law theories of Grotius and Hobbes, developed striking ideas of toleration and of the relationship between church and state, and wrote extensive political histories and analyses of the constitution of the German empire.

Theophilus Dorrington (1654–1715) was an Anglican clergyman and polemicist against Dissent.

Simone Zurbuchen is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.

Published by: Liberty Fund

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. ix-xix

The present work is a translation of Samuel Pufendorf’s Jus feciale divinum sive de consensu et dissensu protestantium,1 a treatise on the reunification of Protestants in Europe. The fact that Pufendorf considered himself a layman in theology helps to explain why the work was first published posthumously in 1695. ...

The Divine Feudal Law

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pp. 3-4

The Works of this Excellent Author need no Man’s Recommendation, nor can I think fit to pretend to give them any Advantage by mine. It shall suffice therefore barely to advertise concerning this, That it is the last Work of this Famous and Great Man, and so may be reckon’d the Product and Fruit of his utmost Improvements in Wisdom, Piety and Learning. ...

An Epitomy of the Following Book

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pp. 5-9

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The Divine Feudal Law Represented

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pp. 11-226

§1. As I often consider the Condition of Humane Nature, it is especially grievous to me to observe, that besides the Evils and Inconveniencies which attend our Natural Frailty, Mankind do pull upon themselves a vast Heap of Calamities more, by their own perverse Will and wicked Lusts; which it were easie to them to be free from, if they would follow the Conduct of right Reason. ...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 227-228


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pp. 229-246

Publication Information

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E-ISBN-13: 9781614878551
E-ISBN-10: 1614878552
Print-ISBN-13: 9780865973732

Page Count: 265
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: None

OCLC Number: 61744591
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Divine Feudal Law

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Subject Headings

  • Lutheran Church -- Relations -- Reformed Church.
  • Reformed Church -- Relations -- Lutheran Church.
  • Unionism (Lutheranism).
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