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State, Church, and the Reformational Roots of Subsidiarity

The Myth of the Reformation, ed. Peter Opitz (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 148-159.

12 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2012 Last revised: 11 Dec 2013

Jordan J. Ballor

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty; Journal of Markets & Morality

Date Written: June 10, 2011

Abstract

I trace here some (although certainly not all) of the antecedents in the Reformation and post-Reformation eras that stand behind more contemporary expressions of the doctrine of subsidiarity. This study focuses on two basic areas, or roots: the civil and the ecclesiastical. In the former case I examine thinkers identified in the so-called “Erastian” tradition of church-state relations, particularly the Reformer Wolfgang Musculus (an older contemporary of Erastus). On the ecclesiastical side, I examine the view of confessional documents in the Reformed tradition, particularly that of the Belgic Confession (1561). At issue here are what I have called the “Reformational roots” of subsidiarity, the antecedents to more contemporary and explicit expressions of the principle. This is a pre-press version of the article that does not include a few minor corrections.

Keywords: subsidiarity, natural law, reformation, political thought, ethics, theology

Suggested Citation

Ballor, Jordan J., State, Church, and the Reformational Roots of Subsidiarity (June 10, 2011). The Myth of the Reformation, ed. Peter Opitz (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 148-159.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2185491

Jordan J. Ballor (Contact Author)

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty ( email )

98 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States
6164543080 (Phone)
6164549454 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.acton.org

Journal of Markets & Morality ( email )

98 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States
6164543080 (Phone)
6164549454 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.acton.org

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