Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 September 2021
Grotius’s theory of property was meant to yield practical results. The principle of the freedom of the seas, for instance, was based on the idea of seizure as a constituent element of property and exclusivity. This focus on practical results enables a secularized reading of his theory of property. However, some essential aspects of his property theory are not entirely comprehensible without taking into account Grotius’s wider theological framework. Therefore, in this article I will focus on Grotius’s idea of consent to the principle of first occupation as the foundation of his property theory, and link it with his theologically loaded conceptions of man’s freedom and equality, or the universal fellowship of humankind.