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The Puzzling Case of Christianity and Republicanism: A Comment on Black

Cary J. Nederman
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 92, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 913-918
DOI: 10.2307/2586312
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2586312
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Puzzling Case of Christianity and Republicanism: A Comment on Black
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Abstract

Antony Black argues that Christian republicanism was one of the discourses at work in framing the history of Western republican thought. But he neglects to confront the theoretically unique character of the Christian approach to republican institutions. First, Christian republicanism derived from more general beliefs about the divinely ordained organic structure of the universe. Second, it evinced no necessary hostility toward monarchic rule; indeed, quite to the contrary, its cosmological premise of organic hierarchy supported the office of the king (whether papal or secular). Once these elements of Christian republicanism are supplied, the medieval contribution to the history of republican ideas takes on a complexion very different from that described by Black.

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