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Voices of ConscienceRoyal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France$
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Nicole Reinhardt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703686.001.0001

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Identifying Royal Sins

Identifying Royal Sins

(p.87) 4 Identifying Royal Sins
Voices of Conscience

Nicole Reinhardt

Oxford University Press

The chapter examines the status of royal sins within confessional manuals from 1550 to 1650. It starts out with an in-depth analysis of Martín de Azpilcueta’s groundbreaking manual, published for the first time in 1552, which contained the first and most extensive list of royal sins. The list provided by the Augustinian friar focused exclusively on the importance of the sins princes committed as public personae, with a particular emphasis on the problem of just war, taxation, and distributive justice, yet surprisingly scant interest in the defence of religious orthodoxy. Deeply indebted to the Thomism dominant among the Spanish second scholastic theologians, it contained a critical appreciation of the contemporary development of the Hispanic monarchy. While Azpilcueta’s framework remained largely dominant throughout the period, later manuals tended to efface its contractualist underpinnings, giving ground to a new emphasis on the virtue of the absolute prince and his religious duties.

Keywords:   confessional manuals, second scholasticism, Thomism, Martín de Azpilcueta, sin

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