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Divine Kingship

Divine kingship is when a king has absolute power over the entire kingdom. The king had this power because he made it so that he was giving orders by God and since God was giving these orders, he was not accountable of the actions that would take place. This gave the king more power because then even parliament couldn’t punish him for his actions. This kind of divine kingship started in Europe and churches also were behind this power because they gave the king their blessing. Having this kind of power over their people helped them be a feared ruler and keep them under control.

One of the biggest rulers to have this kind of kingship in order was King James I but by the Glorious Revolution it disappeared. Louis XIV tried to keep the divine kingship alive in his ruling of France but because there weren’t religious beliefs in the ruling anymore. During the American and French revolution and Napoleonic wars the practice was still holding strong. One person that really helped keep the divine kingship alive was Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, a bishop that theorized that the king and his authority was holy and the power he had was from his father and that God was derived from his power.

This kind of doctrine can be dangerous because God being involved in the leadership of any society can be bad one. This gives the kings more power than they should have over their people. This is the reason that we now have a separation of church and state. This way the state doesn’t have too much power over their people. There have been some horrific things done in the name of God and keeping them separate have made life easier for the people under the authority of kings and the government. This might have worked back then to keep the people under control but we don’t live in this kind of society today and if we did, there would be major problems. For one, there would probably be an uprising against the government if they tried to run the country like this and with freedom of religion, people would probably argue that they didn’t have to listen because they don’t believe in it. A lot has changed since divine kingship was implemented but we are still under the control of some kind of ruler, whether that be the government or authority figures.

 

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