Presbyterian politicalthought: limited monarchy, co-ordinate powers and
Parliament’s ‘defensive armes’
The outbreak of civil war in August 1642 required the
London ministers to publish and preach in defence of Parliament against the polemics of the
king’s propagandists. By December, London experienced public protests as large numbers
of its citizens became disillusioned with the descent into civil war. This dissatisfaction
was seized upon by royalist propagandists, particularly Henry Ferne
The presbyterians’ politicalthought looked to
the classical mixed ‘co-ordinate’ constitution of government by the one, the
few and many. This view applied both to church polity and the political state, the structures
of which naturally mirrored each other in accordance with the Calvinist two-kingdoms theory
that was increasingly adopted by presbyterians over the 1640s. This necessarily entailed a
rejection of that strand of parliamentarian thought, closely associated with the revolution
The previously unexplored legacy of religious anarchism in traditional Jewish theology is examined for the first time in this book. Probing the life and thought of figures whose writings have gone largely unread since they were first published, Hayyim Rothman makes, in the first place, a case for the existence of this heritage. He shows that there existed, from the late nineteenth though the mid-twentieth century, a loosely connected group of rabbis and traditionalist thinkers who explicitly appealed to anarchist ideas in articulating the meaning of the Torah, of traditional practice, of Jewish life, and the mission of modern Jewry. Supported by close readings of the Yiddish and Hebrew writings of Yaakov Meir Zalkind, Yitshak Nahman Steinberg, Yehuda Leyb Don-Yahiya, Avraham Yehudah Hen, Natah Hofshi, Shmuel Alexandrov, and Yehudah Ashlag this book traces a complicated story about the intersection, not only of religion and anarchism, but also of pacifism and Zionism, prophetic anti-authoritarianism, and mystical antinomianism. Bringing to light, not merely fresh source material, but uncovering a train of modern Jewish political thought that has scarcely been imagined, much less studied, No masters but God is a groundbreaking contribution.
Combat Concept’, Modern Intellectual History 12 (2015), pp.
1–32; B. Young, ‘Enlightenment PoliticalThought and the Cambridge School’, HJ
52 (2009), pp. 235–51; B. Young, ‘Religious History and the Eighteenth-Century
Historian’, HJ 43 (2000), pp. 849–68. More generally, see B. Gregory, ‘No Room
for God? History, Science, Metaphysics and the Study of Religion’, History and
Theory 47 (2008), pp. 495–519.
C. Taylor, Dilemmas and Connections (Cambridge, MA, 2011), pp. 167–379, develops themes and responds to arguments made about C. Taylor, The Secular Age
King, One Faith. The Parlement of Paris and the
Religious Reformations of the Sixteenth Century (Berkeley, 1996), p. 59; D. Richet, De la Réforme
à la Révolution. Études sur la France moderne (1991), p. 349; H. Höpfl and M. Thompson, ‘The
history of contract as a motif in politicalthought’, A.H.R, 84 (1979) 919–44.
31 Henshall, Myth of Absolutism, p. 9; Roelker, One King, One Faith, p. 67.
32 Church, Constitutional Thought, p. 40; see the discussions in Roelker, One King, One Faith,
pp. 63–4 and M. Braddick and J. Walter eds., Negotiating Power in Early Modern
that such rights can
take root and ﬂourish in the stony ground of human dignity mapped out by
Dworkin. Just as Dworkin claims that God’s authority must presuppose human rights,
I claim that the generative powers of human dignity with respect to human rights
presuppose an account of the human good.
Religion and rights
Given the scepticism that human rights are apt to arouse, not only in non-Western
societies but also among adherents of certain inﬂuential Western traditions of
ethical and politicalthought, we need
Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c.
: Bishop Bramhall and the
Laudian reforms, 1633–1641 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); T. C.
Barnard, Cromwellian Ireland: English government and reform in Ireland 1649–1660
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975); St J. D. Seymour, The puritans in Ireland
(1647–1661) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921). See also the chapter by Crawford
Gribben in the forthcoming first volume of The Oxford handbook of the protestant
dissenting traditions (Oxford: Oxford University Press) edited by John Coffey.
13 J. Coleman, A history of politicalthought from the middle ages
( 2009 ). On Moses Hess’ anarcho-nationalism, see Abensour ( 2011 , 50–52; 61). On Bernard Lazare, see Löwy ( 2004 ). Much has been written on Martin Buber: I direct the reader only to the most recent study, Brody ( 2018 ). On Gershom Scholem's politicalthought, see especially Jacobson ( 2003 ). Concerning the Jewish element of Gustav Landauer's work, see Mendes-Flohr and Mali ( 2015 ).
3 See Richard Whatmore, ‘Intellectual History and the History of PoliticalThought’, in Richard Whatmore and Brian Young (eds.), Palgrave Advances in Intellectual History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pp. 109–29; Richard Whatmore, What Is Intellectual History? (Cambridge: Polity, 2016); Q. R. D. Skinner, ‘Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas’, History and Theory , 8:1 (1969), 3–53; J. G. A. Pocock, ‘The Reconstruction of Discourse: Towards the Historiography of PoliticalThought’, MLN , 96:5 (1981), 959–80; J. G. A. Pocock, ‘Quentin
Walpolean regime, Whigs
brought the Church of England to heel so that religion would not rend the
nation asunder as it had during the seventeenth century and as it had threatened to do during the first decade of the eighteenth.
Standing opposed to this story of the growth of secular politics and of its
concomitant, political stability, in the wake of the post-revolutionary, religiously fuelled ‘rage of party’ is a second story, one which emphasizes continuities and highlights the continued importance of religion in the nation’s
politics and politicalthought. In this