See Article History Divine right of kings, political doctrine in defense of monarchical absolutismwhich asserted that kings derived their authority from God and could not therefore be held accountable for their actions by any earthly authority such as a parliament. By the 16th and 17th centuries, however, the new national monarchs were asserting their authority in matters of both church and state. King James I of England reigned —25 was the foremost exponent of the divine right of kings, but the doctrine virtually disappeared from English politics after the Glorious Revolution — In the late 17th and the 18th centuries, kings such as Louis XIV — of France continued to profit from the divine-right theory, even though many of them no longer had any truly religious belief in it.
The divine right of kings, or divine-right theory of kingship, is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including in the view of some, especially in Protestant countries the church.
A weaker or more moderate form of this The divine right of kings and theory does hold, however, that the king is subject to the church and the pope, although completely irreproachable in other ways; but according to this doctrine in its strong form, only God can judge an unjust king.
The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act. One passage in scripture supporting the idea of divine right of kings was used by Martin Lutherwhen urging the secular authorities to crush the Peasant Rebellion of in Germany in his Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasantsbasing his argument on St.
However, in Roman Catholic jurisprudence, the monarch is always subject to natural and divine lawwhich are regarded as superior to the monarch.
The possibility of monarchy declining morally, overturning natural law, and degenerating into a tyranny oppressive of the general welfare was answered theologically with the Catholic concept of extra-legal tyrannicideideally ratified by the pope.
Until the unification of Italythe Holy See did, from the time Christianity became the Roman state religionassert on that ground its primacy over secular princes; however this exercise of power never, even at its zenith, amounted to theocracyeven in jurisdictions where the Bishop of Rome was the temporal authority.
Antichristus, a woodcut by Lucas Cranach the Elderof the pope using the temporal power to grant authority to a ruler contributing generously to the Catholic Church Catholic justified permission[ edit ] Catholic thought justified submission to the monarchy by reference to the following: The Old Testament, in which God chose kings to rule over Israel, beginning with Saul who was then rejected by God in favor of Davidwhose dynasty continued at least in the southern kingdom until the Babylonian captivity.
The New Testament, in which the first pope, St. Peter, commands that all Christians shall honour the Roman Emperor 1 Peter 2: Paul agreed with St. Peter that subjects should be obedient to the powers that be because they are appointed by God, as he wrote in his Epistle to the Romans Jesus told Pontius Pilate that his authority as Roman governor of Judaea came from heaven according to John The endorsement by the popes and the church of the line of emperors beginning with the Emperors Constantine and Theodosiuslater the Eastern Roman emperors, and finally the Western Roman emperor, Charlemagne and his successors, the Catholic Holy Roman Emperors.
The French Huguenot nobles and clergy, having rejected the pope and the Catholic Church, were left only with the supreme power of the king who, they taught, could not be gainsaid or judged by anyone. Since there was no longer the countervailing power of the papacy and since the Church of England was a creature of the state and had become subservient to it, this meant that there was nothing to regulate the powers of the king, and he became an absolute power.
In theory, divinenaturalcustomary, and constitutional law still held sway over the king, but, absent a superior spiritual power, it was difficult to see how they could be enforced, since the king could not be tried by any of his own courts. Some of the symbolism within the coronation ceremony for British monarchs, in which they are anointed with holy oils by the Archbishop of Canterburythereby ordaining them to monarchy, perpetuates the ancient Roman Catholic monarchical ideas and ceremonial although few Protestants realize this, the ceremony is nearly entirely based upon that of the Coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor.
The king or queen of the United Kingdom is one of the last monarchs still to be crowned in the traditional Christian ceremonial, which in most other countries has been replaced by an inauguration or other declaration.
In pagan religions, the king was often seen as a kind of god and so was an unchallengeable despot. The ancient Roman Catholic tradition overcame this idea with the doctrine of the "Two Swords" and so achieved, for the very first time, a balanced constitution for states.
The advent of Protestantism saw something of a return to the idea of a mere unchallengeable despot.
Thomas Aquinas condoned extra-legal tyrannicide in the worst of circumstances: When there is no recourse to a superior by whom judgment can be made about an invader, then he who slays a tyrant to liberate his fatherland is [to be] praised and receives a reward.
The only human power capable of deposing the king was the pope. The reasoning was that if a subject may overthrow his superior for some bad law, who was to be the judge of whether the law was bad?
If the subject could so judge his own superior, then all lawful superior authority could lawfully be overthrown by the arbitrary judgement of an inferior, and thus all law was under constant threat.divine right of kings The doctrine that kings and queens have a God-given right to rule and that rebellion against them is a sin.
This belief was common through the seventeenth century and was urged by such kings as Louis xiv of France. One vital element in the theory of the Divine Right of Kings was the Bodinian concept of sovereignty. The political theory of Jean Bodin (/) was aimed at ending the long period of conflict and confusion caused by Religious Wars in France between Catholics and Huguenots.
Divine right of kings: Divine right of kings, political doctrine in defense of monarchical absolutism, which asserted that kings derived their authority from God and could not therefore be held accountable for their actions by any earthly authority such as a parliament.
Originating in Europe, the divine-right . The divine right of kings, was a political and religious pfmlures.com meant that a monarch was given the right to rule by God alone. His authority could not be questioned because he ruled in God's name.
It gave a king absolute rule over his subjects. The divine right of kings, divine right, or God's mandate is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy.
It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God. King James I and THE DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS. In the minds of many, the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings is closely (if not exclusively) associated with King James I, the first king of Great Britain.
It is important to note, however, that the Divine Right of Kings (the idea that kings are accountable to God alone), neither began nor ended with King James I.