Alberico Gentili and the Ottomans

Noel Malcolm

in The Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199599875
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595813 | DOI:
Alberico Gentili and the Ottomans

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This chapter offers a nuanced reading of Gentili's stance on the Ottoman empire, linking his doctrine of pre-emptive strikes with his stance on religion and theology and his alleged separation between theology and politics. It shows that Gentili — although indeed prepared to give politics a large degree of autonomy from religion in the vein of Bodin and other writers in the politiques tradition — was also at times committed to a strong biblical protestantism. It argues that Gentili, when taking positions close to Bodinian ideas of a strong separation between politics and theology, did so not primarily for reasons having to do with a non-theological ‘humanist’ tradition, but instead for reasons deriving from a body of fairly mainstream theological thought reaching back into the middle ages.

Keywords: Ottoman empire; pre-emptive strikes; theology; politics; biblical protestantism

Chapter.  10687 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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