O Maquiavel de Leo Strauss
: a ira anti-teológica e o problema teológico-político

  • Tomás Lopes da Cruz (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Niccolò Machiavelli is rightly considered one of the greatest exponents of modern thought. It is easy to get lost in the diversity of interpretations of his work. There is no school of thought that does not address Machiavelli and claim their interpretation to be the most genuine reading of the Florentine. This dissertation aims to analyze Leo Strauss's interpretation of Machiavelli.
Strauss's interpretation identifies Machiavelli's response to the theological-political problem as the foundational movement of political and philosophical modernity. Strauss seeks to build the thesis that Machiavelli aimed to dissolve the influence of Christian religion and classical philosophy in the political life of the societies of his time, giving priority to a new reason which came to be known as modern reason. At the heart of Machiavelli's response is an attitude commonly called realism. Strauss sees in Machiavelli a construction of a true political philosophical project as well as a philosophical-literary strategy to implement it. In this project, Machiavelli starts from a new political conception of man, especially regarding his total rejection of religious influence. Strauss reflects on this project and its consequences, highlighting what he calls an anti-theological passion or ire in Machiavelli's work. This spirit would have animated the foundation of modernity, a spirit still present in its most basic foundations.
Demonstrating this anti-religious dimension in Machiavelli is what motivates all of Strauss's exegetical efforts. But this interpretation is based on Strauss's own understanding of what philosophy should be, a dimension that we will also explore in this dissertation. Strauss also shares with Machiavelli the concern, almost obsession, to seek the best possible articulation between the different forms of knowledge that aim to contribute to the organization of political life. This means structuring the contributions of reason and faith. For Strauss, this is
primarily about justifying the superiority of philosophical life against its adversaries, under the admonition that modernity has not done so convincingly.
We hope that this dissertation will allow the reader to understand the importance of studying Machiavelli as a decisive author for understanding an endless array of problems in today's world. And to understand the perspective from which our modern project was founded, with all its advantages and limitations.
Date of Award19 Sept 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMiguel Morgado (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Ciências Políticas

Cite this