Hunter, Ian

University of Queensland


Research interests
Early modern natural law thought, history of jus gentium and international law, history of philosophy, eighteenth-century German public law, nineteenth-century German political and legal philosophy, history of German public church law (Staatskirchenrecht) and the religious constitution.

Comparative study of Immanuel Kant and Johann Jakob Moser on the German religious constitution. Editorial introduction to Christian Thomasius, Cautelae circa Praecognita Jurisprudentiae Ecclesiasticae, Halae 1712, 2nd edn. 1723; and the German translation, Höchstnöthige Cautelen welche ein Studiosus Juris, der sich zur Erlernung der Kirchen-Rechts-Gelahrheit auff eine kluge und geschickte Weise vorbereiten will, zu beobachten hat, Halle 1713.

Selected bibliography concerning Natural law

  • Books

The Secularisation of the Confessional State: The Political Thought of Christian Thomasius (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Rival Enlightenments: Civil and Metaphysical Philosophy in Early Modern Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

  • Edited Volumes

(Co-ed. with Shaunnagh Dorsett), Law and Politics in British Colonial Thought: Transpositions of Empire (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010).

Christian Thomasius: Essays on Church, State, and Politics, edited, translated and with an introduction and notes by Ian Hunter, Thomas Ahnert, and Frank Grunert (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007).

Samuel Pufendorf: The Whole Duty of Man, According to the Law of Nature. Together with two discourses and a commentary by Jean Barbeyrac, edited, with an Introduction, notes and translations, by Ian Hunter and David Saunders (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).

(co-ed. with David Saunders), Natural Law and Civil Sovereignty: Moral Right and State Authority in Early Modern Political Thought (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Press, 2002).

  • Book Chapters

'Law, War, and Empire in Early Modern Protestant Jus Gentium: the Casuistries of Gentili and Vattel' in Alberico Gentili. Giustizia, Guerra, Impero. Atti del convegno, XIV Giornata Gentiliana, San Ginesio 24-25 September 2010, ed. Diego Panizza and Pepe Ragoni (Milan: Giuffrè editore, 2014), p. 151-68.

'The Uses of Natural Law in Early Modern Germany: Christian Thomasius’s Reshaping of the Legal Persona' in Reading and Writing History from Bruni to Windschuttle: Essays in Honour of Gary Ianziti, ed. Christian Thorsten Callisen (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), p. 125-40.

'The Law of Nature and Nations' in The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Philosophy, ed. Aaron Garrett (New York: Routledge, 2014), p. 559-92.

'The Tolerationist Programs of Thomasius and Locke' in Natural Law and Toleration in the Early Enlightenment, ed. Jon Parkin and Timothy Stanton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 107-37.

'Vattel in Revolutionary America: From the Rules of War to the Rule of Law' in Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, ed. Lisa Ford and Tim Rowse (London: Routledge, 2012), p. 12-22.

'Natural Law as Political Philosophy' in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe, ed. Desmond Clarke and Catherine Wilson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 475-99.

'Global Justice and Regional Metaphysics: On the Critical History of the Law of Nature and Nations' in Law and Politics in British Colonial Thought: Transpositions of Empire, ed. Shaunnagh Dorsett and Ian Hunter (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2010), p. 11-29.

'The Man and the Citizen: The Pluralisation of Civil Personae in Early Modern German Natural Law' in Security, State and Subject Formation, ed. Anna Yeatman and Magdalena Zolkos (New York: Continuum Books, 2010), p. 16-35.

'The Shallow Legitimacy of Secular Liberal Orders: The Case of Early Modern Brandenburg-Prussia' in Secularism, Religion and Multicultural Citizenship, ed. Geoffrey Levey and Tariq Modood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 27-55.

'Thomasius on the Toleration of Heresy' in Heresy in Transition: Transforming Ideas of Heresy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Ian Hunter, John Christian Laursen, and Cary J. Nederman (London: Ashgate, 2005), p. 155-67.

'Multiple Enlightenments: Rival Aufklärer at the University of Halle 1690-1730' in The Enlightenment World, ed. Martin Fitzpatrick et al.,  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 576-95.

'The Love of a Sage or the Command of a Superior: The Natural Law Doctrines of Leibniz and Pufendorf' in Early Modern Natural Law Theories: Contexts and Strategies, ed. T. J. Hochstrasser and Peter Schröder (Berlin: Kluwer, 2003), p. 169-93.


  • Articles

'Public Law and the Limits of Philosophy: German Idealism and the Religious Constitution' in Critical Inquiry, 44 (2018), p.  528-553.

'Giorgio Agamben’s Form of Life' in Politics, Religion & Ideology, 18 (2017), p. 135-156.

'Giorgio Agamben’s Genealogy of Office' in European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 4 (2017), p. 166-99.

'Secularisation: Process, Program, and Historiography' in Intellectual History Review, 27 (2017), p. 7-29.

'Secularization: The Birth of a Modern Combat Concept' in Modern Intellectual History, 12 (2015), p. 1-32.

'Hayden White’s Philosophical History' in New Literary History, 45 (2014), p. 331-58.

'English Blasphemy' in Humanity, 4 (2013), p. 403-28.

'About the Dialectical Historiography of International Law' in Global Intellectual History, 1, (2016).

'Religious Freedom in Early Modern Germany: Theology, Philosophy, and Legal Casuistry' in The South Atlantic Quarterly, 113, 1, (2014), p. 37-62.

'The Figure of Man and the Territorialisation of Justice in ‘Enlightenment’ Natural Law: Pufendorf and Vattel' in Intellectual History Review, 23, 3, (2013), p. 289-308.

'Kant and Vattel in Context: Cosmopolitan Philosophy and Diplomatic Casuistry' in History of European Ideas, vol. 39, 4, (2013), p. 477-502.

'‘A Jus Gentium for America’. The Rules of War and the Rule of Law in the Revolutionary United States' in Journal of the History of International Law 14, (2012), p. 173-206.

'Law, War, and Casuistry in Vattel’s Jus Gentium' in Parergon 28, 2, (2011), p. 87-104.

'Vattel’s Law of Nations: Diplomatic Casuistry for the Protestant Nation' in Grotiana 31, (2010), p. 108-40.

'Kant’s Regional Cosmopolitanism' in Journal of the History of International Law 12, (2010), p. 165-88.

'Natural Law, Historiography, and Aboriginal Sovereignty' in Legal History 11/2, (2007), p. 137-68.

'The Passions of the Prince: Moral Philosophy and Staatskirchenrecht in Thomasius’s Conception of Sovereignty' in Cultural and Social History 2, (2005), p. 113-29.

'Conflicting Obligations: Pufendorf, Leibniz and Barbeyrac on Civil Authority' in History of Political Thought 25, (2004), p. 670-99.

'Reading Thomasius on Heresy' in Eighteenth-Century Thought 2, (2004), p. 39-56.

(with David Saunders), 'Bringing the State to England: Andrew Tooke’s Translation of Samuel Pufendorf’s De officio hominis et civis' in History of Political Thought 24, (2003), p. 218-34.

'The Recovery of Natural Law: Hochstrasser’s History of Morality' in Economy & Society 30, (2001), p. 354-67.

'Philosophical Priestcraft: Christian Thomasius’ Attack on Protestant Scholasticism' in History of Education Review 30, (2001), p. 1-16.

'Christian Thomasius and the Desacralisation of Philosophy' in Journal of the History of Ideas 61, (2000), p. 595-616.