Nicholas Aroney and Ian Leigh (eds), Christianity and Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
25 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018
Date Written: March 20, 2018
This chapter is forthcoming in Nicholas Aroney and Ian Leigh (eds), Christianity and Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018). It discusses the rise of a modern concept of sovereignty as prior to and grounding all law, and associated with an unlimited and indivisible power that prioritises the will of a recognised authority. It then explores how the Christian tradition contains a consistent thread of challenge. This is reflected in three parts: the parallel authority of priest and king, or church and civil authority; the cultivation of multiple sites of authority, at local, regional, and international levels; and the coordinating, encouraging, and cultivating place of ‘monarchical’ rule. Rather than sovereign rule, the Christian tradition has emphasised the inter-twining of duality, plurality, and the one. Importantly, each of these components are understood as pursuing a shared horizon, a tradition, or discerning of right. Indeed, as such, it could be suggested that what is ultimately sovereign is the good itself.
Keywords: sovereignty, Bodin, Schmitt, constitutionalism, Christian tradition
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