Free Access to an Essay In Reformation and Renaissance Review- Machiavelli among the doctors: The Prince and divine accommodation

This study will illustrate and reflect on how Niccolò Machiavelli shared terminology and a pattern of thought with contemporary theologians of ‘divine accommodation’. This is the idea that God, while remaining immutable, ‘accommodates’ himself to humankind’s variety and to changing times in order to reveal himself profitably to his fallen creations. Theologians extended the capacity for accommodation to Christ’s disciples and apostles, especially Paul. According to Machiavelli, the ideal Prince or ruler accommodates himself to the changing times and variety of circumstances by choosing among an unlimited diversity of human natures and utilizing them as the times require in order to achieve his ends. It is argued, therefore, that Machiavelli secularizes divine accommodation and transposes the powers of infinite adaptability and flexibility on to the ideal rulling prince. Machiavelli acknowledges, however, that his ideal is generally impracticable; humans have given natures, and most lack the capacity to transform themselves as needed – to their ruination.

Get the essay here.