Grotius’ Imago Dei Anthropology: Grounding Ius Naturae et Gentium

Martti Koskenniemi, Monica García-Salmones, and Paolo Amoroso (Eds.), International law and Religion (Forthcoming)

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2015-36

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2015-16

30 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2015

See all articles by Janne Elisabeth Nijman

Janne Elisabeth Nijman

T.M.C. Asser Instituut; Amsterdam Center for International Law - University of Amsterdam; The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

Date Written: September 25, 2015

Abstract

The standard account has it that Hugo Grotius secularised international law by grounding it on human nature. This chapter argues we should not stop at the standard account, but rather should dig deeper and examine the theological anthropology grounding Grotius’ ideas on the law of nature and nations. With some attention for the influence of both (neo-)scepticism and (neo)stoicism in analyses of Grotius’ understanding of human nature and natural law, this chapter examines Grotius’ ideas through the lens of the Christian theological notion of imago Dei – the idea that human beings are different from other animals in that they are created in ‘the image and likeness of God’.

The chapter relates the concept of the imago Dei briefly to the early seventeenth-century theological and political debates in the Dutch Republic and discusses the Arminian interpretation of the imago Dei along the lines of three dimensions generally set apart: ontological, teleological (the telos being to reach God, also through others in society), and functional (linked to the function of dominium). This chapter argues that the Arminian imago Dei anthropology is foundational to Grotius’ theory of the law of nature and nations in (at least) three ways along the lines of these three dimensions. The chapter concludes with a few remarks on how a post-skeptical reading of Grotius, through the lens of his imago Dei anthropology, is relevant for the future of international law thinking.

Keywords: International law, history, legal theory, Grotius, human nature, imago Dei, natural law, theological anthopology, appetitus societatis, dominium

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Nijman, Janne Elisabeth, Grotius’ Imago Dei Anthropology: Grounding Ius Naturae et Gentium (September 25, 2015). Martti Koskenniemi, Monica García-Salmones, and Paolo Amoroso (Eds.), International law and Religion (Forthcoming), Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2015-36, Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2015-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2665553

Janne Elisabeth Nijman (Contact Author)

T.M.C. Asser Instituut ( email )

P.O. Box 30461
2500 GL The Hague, 2517JN
Netherlands

Amsterdam Center for International Law - University of Amsterdam ( email )

Amsterdam
Netherlands

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2
Geneva, 1202
Switzerland

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
154
Abstract Views
907
rank
233,808
PlumX Metrics