He is now chiefly remembered for his literary works, including funeral panegyrics for great personages. Early life and priesthood. Bossuet was born of a family of magistrates. He spent his first 15 years in Dijon and was educated at the Jesuit college there.
As a priest holding a Doctor of Divinity, Bossuet earned a reputation both as a sound classical and Biblical scholar and as a brilliant preacher. He served as the tutor to the Dauphin the French prince from to and was appointed the Bishop of Meaux in His treatise, Politics Derived from Holy Writ, is a classic expression of the theory of the divine right of kings.
What is Bossuet's argument? How does he support his positions? What does he offer as proof? To what extent is his argument dependent upon the Bible and Christian assumptions? What parts of his argument are based on social and political grounds?
According to Bossuet, are there any limits to the king's power? Bossuet speaks of absolutism in theory. Can you discern in his writing the scope and limits of absolutism in practice? Who in the seventeenth-century might be persuaded by Bossuet's argument and why?
The ruler, adds St. Paul, "is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: Think ye "to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David"? Consequently, as we have seen, the royal throne is not the throne of a man, but the throne of God himself.
The Lord "hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. God has the kings anointed by his prophets with the holy unction in like manner as he has bishops and altars anointed.
But even without the external application in thus being anointed, they are by their very office the representatives of the divine majesty deputed by Providence for the execution of his purposes. Accordingly God calls Cyrus his anointed.
The service of God and the respect for kings are bound together. Peter unites these two duties when he says, "Fear God. It is God who gives you the power. Your strength comes from the Most High, who will question your works and penetrate the depths of your thoughts, for, being ministers of his kingdom, ye have not given righteous judgments nor have ye walked according to his will.
He will straightway appear to you in a terrible manner, for to those who command is the heaviest punish. The humble and the weak shall receive mercy, but the mighty shall be mightily tormented.
For God fears not the power of any one, because he made both great and small and he has care for both.
We behold kings seated upon the throne of the Lord, bearing in their hand the sword which God himself has given them. What profanation, what arrogance, for the unjust king to sit on God's throne to render decrees contrary to his laws and to use the sword which God has put in his hand for deeds of violence and to slay his children!
With the aim of making this truth hateful and insufferable, many writers have tried to confound absolute government with arbitrary government. But no two things could be more unlike, as we shall show when we come to speak of justice.
Be not hasty to go out of his sight: Where the word of a king is, there is power: Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing. It is necessary that his power be such that no one can hope to escape him, and, finally, the only protection of individuals against the public authority should be their innocence.
This conforms with the teaching of St. That is but the reflection of majesty and not majesty itself.Jacques Bossuet () was a French bishop during time of Louis XIV. He was a tremendously popular preacher and one of most prolific theological writers of his time. Louis XIV chose him to be tutor of the dauphin, the heir to the French throne, and later to the dauphin's son, the heir to the heir.
Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet () - He was a French bishop and theologian. He was a strong advocate of royal absolutism and the divine right of kings. He anticipated that the government was sacred and that kings expected their power from God.
Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, (born Sept. 25, , Dijon, Fr.—died April 12, , Paris), bishop who was the most eloquent and influential spokesman for the rights of the French church against papal authority.
He is now chiefly remembered for his literary works, including funeral panegyrics for great personages. Absolutist monarchs build up relatively large bureaucracies in order to collect taxes that in turn went to support large national armies.
Political theorists, like Bossuet and Hobbes, argued that absolutism was the best form of government.
For Bossuet, this was because the power to keep the peace was handed down in trust from God to the king. Jan 09, · Orosius was writing his history shortly after Rome was sacked by Alaric in The work, completed in , shows signs of some haste.
He attempted, like Augustine later did in his Civitas Dei, to counter the view that Rome had fallen because of the adoption of the Christian faith by the Emperor and the people. This essay should be read as an exposition, not an endorsement, of Bossuet's views.
Stolyarov II, July 26, Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet () was a theologian at the court of the French "Sun King" Louis XIV; Bossuet was one of history's most fervent defenders of absolute monarchy.