Robert Kraynak

Robert P. Kraynak is a professor of political science and director of the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization at Colgate University.

Publications by Robert Kraynak

The Idea of the Messiah in the Theology of Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes elaborates a conception of the Messiah in his political treatises that is unusual because it seems to combine Jewish and Christian elements. He asserts that Jesus
is the Messiah in the sense of being the earthly king of the Jews as well as the Son of God and king of heaven. To clarify Hobbes’s position and to highlight its strangeness, it is compared with the views of Moses Maimonides and Blaise Pascal. Hobbes emerges from this comparison as a spokesman for a kind of “Jewish Christianity,” whose purpose is not to return to the early Jewish sects that embraced Jesus as a new Moses but to humanize the Messiah and to redefine Christianity for a new age of secular happiness. Hobbes thereby inaugurates a new kind of biblical criticism which the Deists of the enlightenment era developed and which continues today. Read More »