Natural and Political Conceptions of Community

The Role of the Household Society in Early Modern Jesuit Thought, c.1590–1650


In Natural and Political Conceptions of Community, Christoph Haar examines the role of the household community in Jesuit political thought. Introducing a fresh perspective on the early modern Jesuit academic discourse, the book explores how leading Jesuit thinkers drew on their theologically inspired conceptions of the family community to determine the usefulness as well as the limitations of the political realm.
Natural and Political Conceptions of Community is about the place of the household in Scholastic theoretical works. The book demonstrates that Jesuits considered the human being as a household being when they determined the origin and purpose of the political community, producing a notion of politics that integrated their account of human nature with the sphere of law, rights, and virtues.
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Biographical Note

Christoph Philipp Haar, PhD, University of Cambridge (2015), is a research fellow (DFG) at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. His research and publications explore topics related to the history of moral and political thought as well as intellectual history.

Table of contents

Contents Introduction 1. Theology and Philosophy: Status Introduction The Scholastic Terminology in Aquinas, the Council of Trent, and Domingo de Soto The Scotist and Thomistic Accounts of Original Justice Suárez’s De gratia and Connaturality Pure Nature The Disagreement among the Jesuits on the State of Innocence The Jesuits on the Natural End: God’s Liberty and Liberality Conclusion: The Theology of Nature 2. Aristotle and the Christian Account of Household and Politics Introduction Aristotle on oikos and polis Thomism between Aristotle and Augustine The Common Good in Early Modern Scholastic thought The Origin of Public Power Status Theology and the Distinction between Household and Politics Community before Sin Arriaga’s Intervention Conclusion: Household, Politics, and the Natural End 3. The Origins of dominium Introduction Natural and Moral dominion in Jesuit status Theology Husband and Wife in the State of Innocence The Origins of dominium under the Ius gentium (1): The Dominicans The Origins of dominium under the Ius gentium (2): The Jesuits Conclusion: Dominion in the Transition to the Postlapsarian World 4. Marriage and Political Virtue Introduction Oikos and Polis in Aristotle’s Thought The Theology of the Marital Common Good Aquinas on the Marital Good and Politics Marital and Political Friendship in Early Modern Scholastic Thought Marriage and status: Indissolubility Conclusion: Virtue in Marriage and in the Civitas 5. Justice and Right in Oeconomic and Political Life Introduction Aristotle’s Universal Justice Thomistic Legal Justice The Early Modern Scholastics on Legal Justice as General Justice Legal Justice as the Specific Citizen Virtue Two Jesuit Perspectives on Oeconomic Justice Valencia and Tanner on Alterity Valencia and Tanner on Equality Patria versus Respublica Conclusion: Resemblances to Political Relations of Virtue and Right Conclusion Bibliography Index


Natural and Political Conceptions of Community will appeal to anyone interested in the history of moral and political thought (early modern history of political thought, philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, intellectual history).