Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Divine Right of King
The divine right of kings was the central doctrine used to justify monarchy in early modern Europe. It claimed that kings received their earthly power by divine mandate and, as a result, could not be subject to any temporal or secular authority. Divine right theory is, therefore, a version of political absolutism. It draws heavily on the analogy between the rule of a father over his children and that of a king over his subjects. In some ways, divine right theory may be seen as a descendant of the late medieval doctrine of the two swords. The theory was most prominent in Tudor and Stuart England and received its most powerful intellectual justification in ...