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Hobbes's Kingdom of LightA Study of the Foundations of Modern Political Philosophy$
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Devin Stauffer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226552903

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226553061.001.0001

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Religion and Theology II: Hobbes’s Natural Theology

Religion and Theology II: Hobbes’s Natural Theology

(p.113) 4 Religion and Theology II: Hobbes’s Natural Theology
Hobbes's Kingdom of Light

Devin Stauffer

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses Hobbes’s account of “the kingdom of God by nature” in Chapter 31 of Leviathan. Hobbes here develops a new natural theology that contains an implicit critique of traditional natural theology. The chapter considers Hobbes’s arguments about the limits of what human beings can know about God, and it examines Hobbes’s doctrine of God as the first cause and its complex relationship to Hobbes’s mechanistic materialism. The ultimate argument of the chapter is that Hobbes did not think the existence of God could be either demonstrated or refuted by reason alone. The chapter therefore points ahead to the following chapter, which considers Hobbes’s confrontation with Scripture.

Keywords:   Hobbes, God, natural theology, materialism, first cause, Leviathan, kingdom of God by nature, Scripture, Chapter 31 of Leviathan

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