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The Roman Foundations of the Law of NationsAlberico Gentili and the Justice of Empire$
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Benedict Kingsbury and Benjamin Straumann

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599875.001.0001

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Alberico Gentili and the Ottomans

Alberico Gentili and the Ottomans

(p.127) 7 Alberico Gentili and the Ottomans
The Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations

Noel Malcolm (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a nuanced reading of Gentili's stance on the Ottoman empire, linking his doctrine of pre-emptive strikes with his stance on religion and theology and his alleged separation between theology and politics. It shows that Gentili — although indeed prepared to give politics a large degree of autonomy from religion in the vein of Bodin and other writers in the politiques tradition — was also at times committed to a strong biblical protestantism. It argues that Gentili, when taking positions close to Bodinian ideas of a strong separation between politics and theology, did so not primarily for reasons having to do with a non-theological ‘humanist’ tradition, but instead for reasons deriving from a body of fairly mainstream theological thought reaching back into the middle ages.

Keywords:   Ottoman empire, pre-emptive strikes, theology, politics, biblical protestantism

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