In the same intellectual league as Grotius, Hobbes and Locke, but today less well known, Samuel Pufendorf was an early modern master of political, juridical, historical and theological thought. Trained in an erudite humanism, he brought his copious command of ancient and modern literature to bear on precisely honed arguments designed to engage directly with contemporary political and religious problems. Through his fundamental reconstruction of the discipline of natural law, Pufendorf offered a new rationale for the sovereign territorial state, providing it with non-religious foundations in order to fit it for governance of multi-religious societies and to protect his own Protestant faith. He also drew on his humanist learning to write important political histories, a significant lay theology, and vivid polemics against his many opponents. This volume makes the full scope of his thought and writing accessible to English readers for the first time.
Annabel Brett - Professor of Political Thought and History, University of Cambridge
Samuel Moyn - Yale University
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