09 June 2020

BOOK: David M. LANTIGUA, Infidels and Empires in a New World Order Early Modern Spanish Contributions to International Legal Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020). ISBN 9781108498265, £ 85.00

(Source: CUP)

Cambridge University Press is publishing a new book on Early Modern Spanish contributions to international legal thought.


Before international relations in the West, there were Christian-infidel relations. Infidels and Empires in a New World Order decenters the dominant story of international relations beginning with Westphalia in 1648 by looking a century earlier to the Spanish imperial debate at Valladolid addressing the conversion of native peoples of the Americas. In addition to telling this crucial yet overlooked story from the colonial margins of Western Europe, this book examines the Anglo-Iberian Atlantic to consider how the ambivalent status of the infidel other under natural law and the law of nations culminating at Valladolid shaped subsequent international relations in explicit but mostly obscure ways. From Hernán Cortés to Samuel Purchas, and Bartolomé de las Casas to New England Puritans, a host of unconventional colonial figures enter into conversation with Francisco de Vitoria, Hugo Grotius, and John Locke to reveal astonishing religious continuities and dissonances in early modern international legal thought with important implications for contemporary global society.


David M. LantiguaUniversity of Notre Dame, Indiana

David M. Lantigua is Assistant Professor of Moral Theology and Christian Ethics at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He was previously a faculty member at The Catholic University of America and was a former graduate fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. He co-authored, with Darrell Fasching and Dell deChant, Comparative Religious Ethics: A Narrative Approach to Global Ethics, 2nd edition (2011). He is also co-editor of Bartolomé de las Casas and the Defense of Amerindian Rights: A Brief History with Documents (2020), part of the Atlantic Crossings series.


1. Introduction. International relations beyond Westphalia
Part I. The New World Crucible of Infidel Rights:
2. Theocratic world order and religious wars
3. Spanish Dominicans and the 'affair of the Indies'
4. The politics of natural law at Valladolid, 1550–1551
Part II. God, Empires, and International Society:
5. From infidels to savages: empires of commerce and natural rights
6. The scholastic law of nations, native occupation, and human solidarity.

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