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Abstract from Article

John Knox’s Theology of Political Government
Reid, W Stanford

Published: Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 19, 4 (1988), 529-540.


Basic to Knox’s thought on political government was the concept of the covenant, as set forth in the Old Testament. In this he followed Calvin and perhaps Beza, but carried their ideas to a more complete statement and application. During his sojourn in Geneva he apparently worked on the idea, and on his return to Scotland in 1559, sought to have it put into effect: a Protestant country was a covenanted country, and its rulers – the king/queen and subordinate magistrates – and people were to obey God’s law in all political matters. This view had considerable influence in Scotland and England into the nineteenth century. It may also have exercised an influence on European and American political thought.

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