Mandate of Heaven & The Divine Right of Kings: Compare and Contrast

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2nd Analysis – Mandate of Heaven vs. The Divine Right of Kings By Krista Lawler HSY 235 Mr. McElroy March 17, 2008 The Mandate of Heaven vs. The Divine Right of Kings – Compare & Contrast The Divine Right of Kings and the Mandate of Heaven our very similar yet very different political theories and writings. The Divine Right of Kings claimed that kings were answerable only to God and it was sinful for their subjects to resist them. This would later be called absolutist theory. The Divine Right of Kings stated that kings essentially derived their power from God. Many who believed this passage would quote bible verses such as Proverbs 8: 15 – 16, “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.” (New American Bible, New International Version.) Another commonly quoted bible verse that claimed support of the divine right of kings was Romans 13: 1 -2, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” (New American Bible, New International Version.) In the Divine Right of Kings, princes are “ministers of God and his lieutenants on Earth”. (Bossuet, 1597, as cited in Church, 1959, p.5 – 7) It is also stated in The Divine Right of Kings that “Kings should not believe that they are its masters and may use it as they wish; they should exercise it with fear and restraint as a thing which has come to them from God.” (Bossuet, 1597, as cited in Church, 1959, p.5 – 7) In Europe, the concept of the Divine Right of Kings originated in the Absolutist monarchies of portions of Europe, specifically Eastern Europe, as opposed to the Constitutional monarchies used in Western Europe. Thomas
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