Leviathan

The Political Theory of Lowered Spiritual Expectations

Most of the old books I've discussed here are books I endorse. Today I discuss a book that I don't endorse—Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan(1651).

If you want to know exactly where modern thought differs from Classical and Christian thought, there is no better guide than Hobbes. The teachings of pre-modern philosophy and theology become luminously clear when they are read alongside Hobbes's critique of those teachings.

For example, we learn from Aristotle (Politics, 1253a) that "man is by nature a political animal." But Hobbes has a different idea of what man is "by nature"; by nature man is individualistic, selfish,...

 

received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He writes on education, politics, religion, and culture.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #26, fall 2013 Copyright © 2020 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo26/leviathan

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