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9 Epilogue

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Chapter Summary

The tension between medieval and modern tendencies is one of the most fundamental characteristics of Sarpi's thought. On the one hand he studied theology and natural sciences and insisted on the dependence of everything on the will of God. On the other hand, Sarpi did make a drastic break from the Thomist synthesis of reason and faith, and embraced fideism. This, together with his strict separation of the spiritual from the earthly, suggests a modern worldview, which emphasized human agency in the affairs of the world. A sense of modernity is also implied by the fact that his political attitude was more akin to Machiavellian than Christian ethos and that he dedicated his later life to political and historical rather than theological studies. Yet his 'modern' approach to politics was thoroughly conditioned by his concept of occasione, which entailed the submission of human agency to the impenetrable will of God.

Keywords: Christian ethos; God; Machiavellian; occasione; Sarpi's thought

10.1163/9789004266742_010
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