Divine Right of Kings

(redirected from The divine right)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to The divine right: social contract, imperialism, Glorious Revolution, absolutism, Divine right theory

Divine Right of Kings

The authority of a monarch to rule a realm by virtue of birth.

The concept of the divine right of kings, as postulated by the patriarchal theory of government, was based upon the laws of God and nature. The king's power to rule was derived from his ancestors who, as monarchs, were appointed to serve by God. Regardless of mis-conduct, a king or his heir could not be forced to forfeit the right to the obedience of subjects or the right to succeed to the throne. This concept was formulated to dispel any possibility of papal and ecclesiastical claims to supremacy in secular as well as spiritual matters.

References in periodicals archive ?
In this landmark ruling, the highest court in the land reaffirmed the basic American principle that no individual, including the president, is above the law and that the theory of the divine right of kings does not apply to the chief executive in an American constitutional democracy.
The people have begun to whisper that the Ironfists have lost the Mandate of Heaven -- the divine right to rule.
TOUGH DECISIONS No one has the divine right to play for England
50) Charles McIlwain found it "the most comprehensive of all [James's] political writings,"(51) while Wilfrid Harrison doubted "to what extent a significant doctrine of the divine right of kings is to be found in King James's not too coherent book.
He praised The Lion King and Forrest Gump, films that promote, respectively, the divine right of kings and stupidity as a survival tactic.
While they rejected the divine right of monarchs, they clung to (sometimes secularized versions of) the biblical idea that nature had been created for human benefit.
Who gave her the divine right to claim that British homes are dirty, smelly and full of junk (The Mirror, May 22).
Mason examines the Scottish context of James' theory of the divine rights of kings and sees it above all as a response to the king's Scottish clerical opponents in general and to his former tutor George Buchanan in particular.