Divine right of kings  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

(Redirected from Divine Right of Kings)
Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Shop


Featured:

Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Enlarge
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The divine right of kings, divine right, or God's mandate is a political and religious doctrine of political legitimacy in a monarchy. It stems from a specific metaphysical framework in which a monarch is pre-ordained to inherit the crown before their birth. Under this theory of political legitimacy the subjects of the crown are considered to have actively (rather than merely passively) turned over the metaphysical selection of the king's soul – which will inhabit the body and rule them – over to God. In this way, the "divine right" originates as a metaphysical act of humility or submission towards God. The divine right has been a key element for legitimizing many absolute monarchies.

Consequentially, it asserts that a monarch is not accountable to an earthly authority (such as a parliament) because their right to rule is derived from divine authority. The monarch is thus not subject to the will of his people, of the aristocracy, or of any other estate of the realm. It implies that only divine authority can judge an unjust monarch and that any attempt to depose, dethrone or restrict their powers runs contrary to God's will and may constitute a sacrilegious act. It is often expressed in the phrase "by the Grace of God", attached to the titles of a reigning monarch; although this right does not make the monarch the same as a sacred king.

Historically, many notions of rights were authoritarian and hierarchical, with different people granted different rights, and some having more rights than others. For instance, the right of a father to respect from his son did not indicate a right for the son to receive a return from that respect; and the divine right of kings, which permitted absolute power over subjects, did not leave a lot of room for many rights for the subjects themselves.

See also

lettre de cachet




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Divine right of kings" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools