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Title: Empire of Souls: Robert Bellarmine and the Christian Commonwealth
Author: Tutino, Stefania
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2010
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780199740536
Volumes: 1; Pages: 384
List Price in Cloth: $74.00 Our price: $59.99
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Robert Bellarmine was one of the most celebrated figures in post-Reformation Catholicism. One of the most original theologians and political theorists of his time, he participated directly in many of the political conflicts that agitated Europe between the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. His most influential work concerned the role of the papacy. Although some have criticized Bellarmine's position as weak or inconsistent, Stefania Tutino defends it as a highly effective and original argument against an increasingly secularized understanding of political authority. She argues that Bellarmine provided the Catholic Church with new theoretical tools to respond to the progressive strengthening of the authority of early modern monarchies, by reaffirming its transnational absolute domination. Tutino's approach to Bellarmine and his influence moves beyond earlier scholarship concerned with the internal dynamics of the Catholic Church and instead examines the interplay between ecclesiastical, religious, intellectual, and political history. Her book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of theological arguments in early modern political thought and the role of the Catholic Church in the political history of early modern Europe.