The process by which the Western ecclesia dissolves into political subentities continues throughout the Middle Ages and reaches a decisive stage during the period of Absolutism, when territorial states were increasingly sealing themselves off against each other. Not all regions of Europe reached this stage at the same time: The western nation states were carriers of the development and have remained the great prototypes up until today. They were also the first to think through the theology of the new ecclesia and to reform it as particular communities existing among others, in such intimate worldly political and sacral interpenetration, with state and Church in such close unity that the contradiction between temporal and spiritual become meaningless.
The great theologian of the particular ecclesia with immediacy to God was Thomas Hobbes. He is frequently considered to be the theorist of absolute monarchy, which he is; but he is more than that, because he created the symbol of the Leviathan, the omnipotent state immediately under God and acting upon divine orders.5 The construction of the symbol is based on two steps: first, a natural construction of the personality of the state (Staatsperson), which is to be binding for all times, and then the construction of the natural unity as one Christian ecclesia based on the historical circumstances of the seventeenth century. In order to construct the____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Modernity without Restraint:The Political Religions, the New Science of Politics, and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism. Contributors: Manfred Henningsen - Editor, Eric Voegelin - Author. Publisher: University of Missouri Press. Place of publication: Columbia, MO. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 53.
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