Carl Schmitt famously argued that the basic ideas of modern politics are secularized theological concepts, and Elshtain to a large extent agrees. In particular, she thinks, a change during the later Middle Ages in the notion of God’s omnipotence had immense significance for the state.
For Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, God acted in the world in strict accord with law. Human beings, by reason, could discern this law. This changed in the late medieval period. FULL ARTICLE