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BAITING THE BEAR: THE ANGLICAN ATTACK ON HOBBES IN THE LATER 1660s

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Abstract:

During the later 1660s Thomas Hobbes clearly believed that he was being targeted by dangerous enemies but to date little evidence has been brought to substantiate Hobbes's claims. This article considers evidence suggesting that Hobbes was in fact in danger from clerical and lay enemies who regarded the elderly thinker as a dangerous ideological threat to church and state. What they did, and how Hobbes responded to their actions, helps us to understand the philosopher's place in the politics of the period, but also helps to explain the timing, nature and purpose of some of his most important later writings.

Keywords: Behemoth; Leviathan; Thomas Hobbes; atheism; blasphemy; heresy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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