Abstract and Keywords
This article traces the history of the rise of natural law from the classical and medieval periods to the eighteenth century, considering the publications and debates that began to mushroom from the Reformation, and how the works of Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, and von Pufendorf transformed the political philosophy and learned architecture of Latin Europe. It examines how confessional revelation theology on the will of God, as revealed in scripture, was marginalized by jurists and philosophers and goes on to discuss the role of civil authority as obligating agency within each sovereign state; natural law’s emphasis on rights and obligations; and the arguments of Aristotle and Cicero. It explores three interrelated developments seen as responsible for the rise of natural law during the early modern period, and concludes with an analysis of its further development in relation to the philosophical scene and political environment in each polity during the eighteenth century.
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