The Relationship between the Concept of Judgment in Christian Theology and the Theory of Modern Sovereignty
The concept of "sovereignty" is one of the key concepts of modern political philosophy. This concept, systematically explained for the first time in the modern age by Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes, implies the meanings like absolute and legitimate power over the legislation process. The prevailing attitude in political thought, due to the very pioneering of Bodin and Hobbes in explaining the meaning of sovereignty, views this concept as an innovative concept which is discovered in the modern age. This article tries to demonstrate, however, the concept of sovereignty is raised from Christian theology and one of its main topics: The concept of "judgement". Therefore, the systematization of the term "sovereignty" by Bodin and Hobbes never means that they invented this concept as a wholly modern one. For this purpose, this article searches for the meaning of the term "judgement" in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and, on the basis of the prominent commentaries of the Scriptures, seeks to show that this concept has three relatively distinct but intertwined meanings. These three meanings are "Legislation", "Judgement in legal and judicial sense" and "Sovereignty", all of which accords with the features of the notion of sovereignty in the modern sense of the word. Consequently, it can be said that, the formation of modern sovereignty has not happened in discontinuity with Christian theology, but in continuity with it.
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