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II. 'The Godly Prince': The Union Of Civil And Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

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Chapter Summary

In various scholia respecting the office and authority of the civil magistrate scattered through several of his biblical commentaries, Peter Martyr Vermigli mounts a sustained Augustinian critique of medieval scholastic as well as Tridentine assumptions concerning the relation between civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Vermigli affirms in particular the need for uniting civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the person of the supreme magistrate. The argument of this Protestant scholastic is remarkable for its simultaneous adherence to an Aristotelian conception of the unifying, architectonic function of the sovereign authority, and to a thoroughly Augustinian understanding of the clear distinction between the realms of operation of coercive and spiritual power.

Keywords: civil jurisdiction; ecclesiastical jurisdiction; Peter Martyr Vermigli; supreme magistrate



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