• The Universal Role of Natural Law and Written Constitutions in the Thought of Johannes Althusius

    Author(s):
    John Witte, Jr. (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Subject(s):
    Law, Religion
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Johannes Althusius, Written Constitutions, Natural Law, Separation of Powers, Covenant, Law and Religion
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/9zkq-t703
    Abstract:
    Calvinist jurist Johannes Althusius (1557-1638) developed what he called a “universal theory” of law and politics for war-torn Europe. He called for written constitutions that separated the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of cities, provinces, nations, and empires alike and that guaranteed the natural rights and liberties of all subjects. To be valid, he argued, these constitutions had to respect the universal natural law set out in Christian and classical, biblical and rational teachings of law, authority, and rights. To be effective, these constitutions had to recognize the symbiotic nature of human beings who are born with a dependence on God and neighbor, family and community, and who are by nature inclined to form covenantal associations to maintain liberty and community. Althusius left a comprehensive Christian theory of rule of law and political that anticipated many of the arguments of later Enlightenment theorists of social and government contracts.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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