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Benjamin Slingo


I was an undergraduate in History at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and undertook further study at St John's College. I was admitted to a Research Fellowship at Clare College in October 2015.

Departments and Institutes

Clare College:

Research Interests

I am interested in late scholastic political thought from the early sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century-- the thought of, among others, Tommaso de Vio Cajetan, Jacques Almain, Francisco de Vitoria, Domingo de Soto, Robert Bellarmine, Luis de Molina, Marc'antonio de Dominis, and Francisco Suárez. My current research considers how these authors understood political power, and how they used various and perhaps conflicting conceptual vocabularies to characterise it. I am especially concerned to explore how their scholastic ideas about power helped shape or otherwise interacted with some of the main strands of early modern political thought at large, including republicanism, divine right kingship, and Thomas Hobbes's theory of the State. I am also interested in late scholastic theories of natural law, and their place in its development or decline; in late scholastic treatments of the relationship between the Church and the secular commonwealth; in late scholastic ideas about the emergence of human societies and the law of nations in the shadow of the Fall; and in the place of private and especially patriarchal power in early modern accounts of political origins and political life.


I supervise Paper 19 of Part I, 'History of political thought to c. 1700'.

I help to teach Paper 6 of Part II, 'States between states'.

Key Publications

'Civil power and the deconstruction of scholasticism in the thought of Marc'antonio de Dominis', History of European Ideas, 41, 4 (2015), 507-26. 

'Salas contra Suárez on the origins of political power', in The concept of law (lex) in the moral and political thought of the 'School of Salamanca', ed. K. Bunge, M. J. Fuchs, D. Simmermacher and A. Spindler (Leiden 2016), 58-80.