Death of Spanish Philosopher Francisco Suarez Hot

Death of Spanish Philosopher Francisco Suarez

Francisco Suarez

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Spanish philosopher Francisco Suarez dies in Lisbon, Portugal, at the age of 69. Suarez, trained by Jesuits and educated at Salamanca, was a theologian and political philosopher who has been one of the last representatives of scholasticism and one of the staunchest defenders of the power and authority of the Catholic Church.

The latter was very important for Suarez because during the 16th century the Church has been quickly losing power across society. Filling the vacuum for the most part was the state itself, and partly to justify their assertions of authority, many secular rulers have been adopting the doctrine known as the Divine Right of Kings.

Suarez believed that this doctrine threatened both church and state, objecting to the idea that there was anything sacred whatsoever invested in secular rulers. Suarez presaged other political philosophers like Grotius and Pufendorf, arguing that because spiritual power is more important than temporal power, the church is more important than the state.

That did not mean that the church does or should have unrestricted power in the world, while the power of the state is restricted by the fact that such power is derived wholly from God, meaning that all secular law is subbordinate to divine law (invariably defined and explained by the church).

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