This 1991 book was the first ever English rendition of the classic statement of divine right absolutism, published in 1707. Jacques-Benigne Bossuet argues in the Politics that a general society of the entire human race, governed by Christian charity, has given way (after the Fall) to the necessity of politcs, law, and absolute hereditary monarchy. That monarchy - seen as natural, universal and divinely ordained (beginning with David and Solomon) is defended in the first half of the book. The last part, added soon before Bossuet's death, goes on to take up the rights of the Church, the distinction between absolutism and arbitrariness, and causes of just war. Patrick Riley has provided full supporting materials including a chrology, guide to further reading, and a lucid introduction placing Bossuet in his historical and intellectual context.
Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication
English & French
Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought