Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 November 2019
Hobbes’s On the Citizen discussed religion and church-state relations less fully than his later Leviathan. In Leviathan, he trenchantly attacked theories which granted the clergy power that was independent from that of the state and its sovereign. In On the Citizen, he expressed his views with greater moderation and circumspection. Modern scholars debate whether Hobbes changed his ideas or just his tone between the two books. This chapter discusses the evidence for and against the claim that On the Citizen put forward relatively conventional views on the relationship between the powers of the state and the church, and that it was only in Leviathan that he abandoned a theory that was close to orthodox Anglicanism, and characteristic of royalists at the time of the English Civil War. The chapter examines what Hobbes said in On the Citizen, and also discusses the ideas of some of his contemporaries. It notes that the book soon encountered criticism for its contentions concerning religion and church-state relations, and especially for granting the sovereign too great power over the church and the clergy. It argues that the theory presented in On the Citizen is not so very distant from that which Hobbes espoused in Leviathan.