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The Politics of Johannes Althusius. An abridged translation of the Third Edition of. POLITICA METHODICE DIGESTA, ATQUE EXEMPLIS SACRIS ET PROFANIS. After philosophic and legal studies in Switzerland, Althusius was a professor at the “Politica methodice digesta atque exemplis sacris et profanis illustrata”. According to Althusius, the purpose of the state is to protect and encourage social life. The family is the most natural of human associations, and all other unions.

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He then proceeds by dividing and repeatedly subdividing the subject matter, Edition: Continuing the Ramist method of dichotomizing, Althusius divides the public association into particular and universal. For Althusius the problem was what to do with such politically relevant, but nevertheless contingent, matters as the varying character and customs of rulers and peoples. In this last matter, however, Althusius pleads for moderation, provided that the essential articles of faith are preserved.

Upon receiving his doctorate, he was called to the Reformed Academy at Herborn as a member of the faculty of law. Perhaps the most imposing of them is that a large accumulation of references to other books, of identified and unidentified quotations from them, and even of lengthy condensations of borrowed material has althusiux superimposed upon an otherwise well-ordered and clear general structure.

I have attemptedmost distinguished and learned men, honorable relatives and friends, to restate in an appropriate order the many political precepts that have been handed down in various writings, and to find out whether a methodical plan of instruction according to the precepts of logicians can be followed in these matters.


Althusius confronts the same problems of modern politics without jettisoning or denying the biblical foundations. Brandon marked it as to-read Nov 15, Some of the most lively parts of the Politica occur when Althusius enters the lists against these writers.

The first category pertains to those writers who devote considerable attention to the observation of political processes and possibilities in the light of a few general considerations.

Althusius divides the family into two kinds—conjugal and kinship—and discusses the nature of communication and imperium in each.


Leroy added it Mar 25, What althusihs reverence and order be? Sobre o livro, gostei muito.

The City Council was consequently seeking an exceptionally able leader to guide its negotiations and destiny. It is therefore characteristic of his thought that he advocates institutionalized restraints upon rulers in order to maintain effective symbiosis.

Politica by Johannes Althusius

It was at Basle, however, that he received his doctorate in both civil and ecclesiastical law inwith a thesis on the subject of intestate inheritance. The final problem is one of determining the best means for presenting in this translation the various references Althusius makes to other writings. There are five duties expected of them, which they perform as a group rather than as individuals. Nor does there seem to be any other unfailing guide.

Where invention had previously been understood as the processes for combining predicates with subjects in debatable propositions, under the influence of Ramism it also came to denote the processes zlthusius determining what material belongs to subjects as scholarly disciplines.

An abridgment polltica therefore appropriate. The manner of rule in the collegium follows the general principles that Althusius has set forth for all social authority, except that in the collegium participation by individual colleagues, or members, can be direct rather than, as in public associations, indirect.

In a sense, he leaves the family in order that Edition: Tyranny and Its Remedies pp. This collection of gifts was dissimilar and very unequal.

More broadly defined, however, the term comprehends actual as well as…. We turn now to the civil association, politida is a body organized by assembled persons according to their own pleasure and will to serve a common utility and necessity in human life.

Johannes Althusius

Sally marked it as to-read Oct 02, This leads us to the second half of Althusian thought: The Politica seems to have been instrumental in securing for Althusius a most attractive offer to become Syndic of Emden in East Friesland. A true classic of Western political thought, and one of the finest flowerings of political theory in the Calvinist tradition. The European Union is the leading example of postmodern confederation; there are now three or four others as well.

Internet URLs are the best. Types of Supreme Magistrate pp. Accordingly, he made an effort to synthesize and somewhat secularize Reformed Protestant thought on the ideal polity and to push it in concrete, practical directions. It was just getting interesting, Carney–why’d you cut that part?


This is precisely the task of the mishpat hamelukhah that constitutes a civil law separate from the Torah but in harmony with it. Therefore, it resides in the organized Edition: That man, Johannes Althusius, presented his political philosophy in a classic work, Politica Methodice Digesta, first published inexpanded inand revised in final form in You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Only recently, as we have come to see the consequences of unrestrained individualism, both philosophically and practically, have political scientists begun to explore problems of liberty in relation to primordial groups—families, particularly, and ethnic communities.

In the nineteenth century, one party of German thinkers seeking the unification of Germany on federal principles, epitomized by Otto von Gierke, rediscovered Althusius. Perhaps the answer is better to be attributed to the absence of much interest in systematic political theory in those religious circles prior to The family is the most natural of human associations, and all other unions derive from it.

Since the nuclear family is a conjugal relationship, even it is covenantal.

Project MUSE – Politica

I have assigned the rights of sovereignty and their sources, as I have said, to politics. If the political scientist were to discourse on the right and merit of these facts that are judged necessary, essential, and homogeneous to social life, he would have overstepped the clear boundaries of his art. Lists with This Book. Another writer in this category is Jean Bodin, the sixteenth-century political, legal, and historical theorist.

The greater the good he communicates with others, the better and more outstanding the member is. Althusius has a neat essay on the rule of “ephors”.