Religion Past and Present

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Sovereignty
(970 words)

[German Version]

The term sovereignty – as defined by J. Bodin after antique and medieval precursors – does not denote a legal title but a social reality, the reality of an effective social power to preserve external and internal peace in the territory over which it holds sway, a “commonwealth.” The term itself implies its peculiar mode of operation: recognition of its bearer as possessing the coercive power (vis) necessary to assure sufficient compliance internally with the laws it issues, to make appointments to office and vest them with authority, and also to…

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Herms, Eilert, “Sovereignty”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_025645>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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