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The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology
: Ernst Kantorowicz
: The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology
: Princeton University Press
: 2016
ISBN: 978-0691169231
: Princeton Classics
: English
: epub
: 10,7 mb
: 632

Originally published in 1957, this classic work has guided generations of scholars through the arcane mysteries of medieval political theology.

The king's natural body has physical attributes, suffers, and dies, naturally, as do all humans; but the king's other body, the spiritual body, transcends the earthly and serves as a symbol of his office as majesty with the divine right to rule. The notion of the two bodies allowed for the continuity of monarchy even when the monarch died, as summed up in the formulation "The king is dead. Long live the king."

Bringing together liturgical works, images, and polemical material, The King's Two Bodies explores the long Christian past behind this "political theology." It provides a subtle history of how commonwealths developed symbolic means for establishing their sovereignty and, with such means, began to establish early forms of the nation-state.


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