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From obedience to tyrannicide : evolution of the right of resistance in John Knox's political theology

Subject and Keywords:

Knox, John (1514-1572)   right of resistance   tyrannicide


The political thought of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation after the collapse of Christianitas once again raised questions about the extent of obedience and the possibility of active resistance to tyranny. One of the fathers of the doctrine which justified resistance to power was John Knox, considered also as one of the fathers of the Scottish Reformation. This prominent preacher and theologian was also, along with George Buchanan and Samuel Rutherford, one of the classics of the Anglo-Saxon concept of the right to resist and the right of rebellion. In the article, the author argues that Knox, starting from the position requiring obedience to the monarch and allowing only passive resistance, ultimately deviated from the moderate position of John Calvin and Heinrich Bullinger. His argument, influenced by political events in Scotland and England, and the radical concepts of Calvinist writers, tended to justify general revolution and even regicide. According to the author, the evolution of his views was caused by changes in the political and religious situation in Scotland and England. The rule of Catholic queens — Maria de Guise, Mary Tudor, and Mary Stuart — radicalised his political views, whose sense was to mercilessly fight heresy and idolatry and defend true faith. His ideas, according to the author, had a great impact on English puritans — thanks to him English puritanism obtained its radicalisation. Knox was also largely responsible for the attitude of Scottish Presbyterians during the Puritan Revolution, and his thought became largely the inspiration for the most radical concepts of this period.In the article, the author adopts the method of contextual analysis of Knox’s works and statements using a chronological key. This allows him to demonstrate a close correlation between Knox’s views on the law of resistance and the demand for ongoing political debate. The author finally concludes that political circumstances, not theological views, made Knox a monarchomach

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ISSN 2300-7249   ISSN 0239-6661




PAd P 101182 II



Abstract Language :

eng   pol

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