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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines two non-classical strands of the republican tradition—one Calvinist, the other Conciliarist: both significantly different from the Roman model, as well as from each other, and both equally pervasive in the ecclesio-political discourses of Shakespeare’s era. The Huguenot Cornelius Bertram’s De politica Judaica (1574) proved massively influential. Although this work portrayed the early Hebrew state as a mixed polity governed by representative institutions, he regarded those institutions as judicial rather than legislative bodies, since the Jews were strictly governed by God’s law. Bertram’s Calvinist republicanism has no place for an independent secular sphere. By contrast the conciliarist Jacque Almain’s Expositio circa decisions Magistri Guillielmi Occam, super potestate summi pontificus (1512) regarded reason as the ultimate source of political authority, making the collective judgments of rational men superior to the decrees of popes and kings. Neither view conforms to the classical republicanism described by modern scholarship.

Keywords: Hebrew republic, conciliarism, Calvinism, liberty, exception, political epistemology, vir prudens

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