Original Research

Covenant and the consolidated Christian community: The covenantal roots of theologico-political federalism in Samuel Rutherford’s Respublica Christiana

Andries Raath, Shaun de Freitas
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 1 | a1948 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i1.1948 | © 2016 Andries Raath, Shaun de Freitas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 March 2015 | Published: 09 June 2016

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Andries Raath, Department of Public Law, University of the Free State, South Africa
Shaun de Freitas, Department of Public Law, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

The celebrated author on the mind of Samuel Rutherford, John Coffey, chose the Calvinist tradition as the appropriate context for interpreting Rutherford’s covenantal perspectives. The authors question this assumption and produce evidence to the effect that the Bullinger– Vermigli approach to theologico-political federalism in Rutherford’s views proves to be a more cogent paradigm for understanding Rutherford’s thoughts. It is concluded that Rutherford utilised the insights of both Bullinger and Vermigli in structuring the ideal form of government in the Christian state as well as the relationships between ecclesiastical and political offices in the state, a theory that gained in importance in later political theories.


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