Empire of Souls: Robert Bellarmine and the Christian Commonwealth

Empire of Souls: Robert Bellarmine and the Christian Commonwealth

Empire of Souls: Robert Bellarmine and the Christian Commonwealth

Empire of Souls: Robert Bellarmine and the Christian Commonwealth

Synopsis

Robert Bellarmine was one of the most celebrated figures in post-Reformation Catholicism. One of the most original theologians and political theorists of his time, he participated directly in many of the political conflicts that agitated Europe between the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. His most influential work concerned the role of the papacy. Although some have criticized Bellarmine's position as weak or inconsistent, Stefania Tutino defends it as ahighly effective and original argument against an increasingly secularized understanding of political authority. She argues that Bellarmine provided the Catholic Church with new theoretical tools to respond to the progressive strengthening of the authority of early modern monarchies, by reaffirming its transnational absolute domination. Tutino's approach to Bellarmine and his influence moves beyond earlier scholarship concerned with the internal dynamics of the Catholic Church and instead examines the interplay between ecclesiastical, religious, intellectual, and political history. Her book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of theological arguments in early modern political thought and the role of the Catholic Church in the political history of early modern Europe.
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