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Enlightened MonksThe German Benedictines 1740-1803$
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Ulrich L. Lehner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595129

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595129.001.0001

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The Challenge of New Theories of Law

The Challenge of New Theories of Law

(p.155) 8 The Challenge of New Theories of Law
Enlightened Monks

Ulrich L. Lehner

Oxford University Press

The understanding of natural law in the German speaking lands underwent a remarkable change during the 18th century. The church was no longer seen as a state within the state but as a society that was subject to the laws of the state. Many Benedictine monks supported this new theory and even advocated in favor of a secularization of their abbeys in order better to serve the common good. Others even went so far as to give the state full jurisdiction regarding the canonical laws of marriage, or helped the state authorities in their aim to reform monasticism according to the whims of the sovereign.

Keywords:   natural law, canon law, state and church relationship, secularization, episcopalism, state supremacy over the church, Ultramontanism

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