A new perspective on the interaction of science, religion and politics in Restoration England, based on discussion of Cumberland's De legibus naturae.Richard Cumberland is one of the seventeenth century's most interesting political theorists. His masterpiece, the De legibus naturae(1672), has rarely been examined on its own terms, but by tracing the political, religious and intellectual circumstances of the composition of this puzzling work, and showing its importance as a critique of Thomas Hobbes, author of the Leviathan, Dr Parkin demonstrates how Cumberland created a new political and ethical theory which absorbed and neutralised many of Hobbes's insights. He also examines the science of the Royal Society as a basis for Cumberland's natural law theory and its influence on such thinkers as Samuel Pufendorf and John Locke. Overall, the book provides an important new perspective on the interaction of science, religion and politics in Restoration England.
Dr JON PARKIN teaches in the Department of History at King's College, London.
1 black and white illustrations
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
Royal Historical Society
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Thoroughly researched and attractively nuanced study... has something for everyone: for cultural as well as political historians of Restoration England. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW Leaves the reader wth a better grasp not only of Cumberland's work but also of the character of late seventeenth-century English intellectual history more generally. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW