Machiavelli And Luther Foils

Decent Essays
Lutheran Wedge
In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation began starting countless wars in Europe. This theo-political revolution was the result of something called the Lutheran Wedge. The Lutheran Wedge is a theo-political model started by a German Augustinian monk named Martin Luther. Martin Luther responded to the corruption of the church sought to separate the Church and the State for the betterment of the Church. The wars started by the Protestant Reformation would inspire Niccolo Machiavelli to come up with his own theo-politcal model. Machiavelli, like Luther, wanted to separate the Church and the State, this time for the betterment of the state. Machiavelli and Luther’s models are foils to each other, but inspired by the same
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He found that politics were being muddled by religion. He was responding to the Medici family who had just gained power in Italy as well as the movement to unify the country. Whereas Luther wanted to separate church and state for the good of the church, Machiavelli wanted the separation to be for the benefit of the state. In Machiavelli’s model, the church was not going to be a factor. He believed that you should love the state more than your soul. At times, it is necessary to do a morally bad thing in order to preserve the state. It is in these times, Machiavelli believed, that it was more important to preserve the state than your own morality. In his model, Machiavelli did four things. He redefined virtue. It was the needs of the state that set the ethical standard for people to follow. People were to strive for the common good. He also redefined violence so that it was in service of the state. Machiavelli claimed that war was a natural condition for a strong state, making violence justified in a way that it never had been before. He also argued that people would have virtues impressed upon them if state institutions were run correctly. Lastly, he argued that the nation would need some mythology that would serve as a unifier instead of having the…show more content…
Seeing a state constantly engaged in battle over religion gave Hobbes both a very negative view of religion and human behavior. Hobbes believed that human life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Pecknold, 113). He believed that humans were violent animals at heart. To Hobbes, politics was not natural for humans and therefore it would be difficult to establish a political model without a strong state leader. Hobbes’ disdain for human nature was very apparent in his theo-political model. Hobbes’ model features a very strong state role and a non-existent church
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