Romans 13 and patriarchalism
in Order and conflict
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Romans 13 was a key text of Calvinist political theory. Anthony Ascham's use of Romans 13 was intended both to convince Presbyterians about the need to settle the country, and to counterbalance the potentially disruptive implications of the radical Independents' use of natural law theory. Both the Second Demurrer and the author of the Grand Case of Conscience had pointed to the contradiction deriving from Ascham's and Francis Rous's interpretation of Romans 13. Patriarchalist political theory was inherently contrary to natural law theory. However, consistent with his previous attempt to combine a providentialist vision of parliamentary government based on Romans 13 with Grotian natural law, was Ascham's attempt to bring together political patriarchalism and contractualism. The concept of absolute and indivisible sovereignty that Robert Filmer attached to his argument for patriarchal authority and to his criticism of mixed government was drawn from Bodin.

Order and conflict

Anthony Ascham and English political thought, 1648–50


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