Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
I. G. Weeks
This thesis addresses the general question of the relation between the Bible and the rise of modern political thought. It begins from the observation that Hobbes, Spinoza, and Locke were simultaneously the founders of liberal thought and interpreters of the Bible. It then attempts to argue that Hobbes's Leviathan is a work which is Biblical in thought and presentation.
In the !first chapter, there is a general discussion of Hobbes's explicit interpretation of the Bible, which shows his reading to be plausible at many points but suspect at others. Finally the discussion points to the Old Testament as the key' to understanding Hobbes's ambiguous interpretation. The second chapter shows that Hobbes implicitly presents themes from the Five Books of Moses (Torah) creation, divine speech, covenant, law -- throughout his work. The third chapter takes up this lead, and in a tentative exploration of the Torah's political teaching finds that Hobbes has adopted the political thought of the ! Torah while rejecting its theological claims.
The conclusion suggests that the political thought I of liberal democracies, following the lead of Hobbes and like thinkers, has turned away from classical and Christian precepts and toward those of the Old Testament.
Wybrow, Richard Cameron James, "THE INTERPRETATION OF BIBLICAL POLITICAL THOUGHT IN LEVIATHAN" (1982). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5621.
McMaster University Library