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What if figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Lech Wałesa had been more prominent parts of our political history and not the latter-day entriesthanks in part to classic Indiato it that they have been? Would a doctrine of divine right of kings have developed, and all that followed in reaction to it, had there not been already in place an equally absolute and competing theory of the divine right of popes – as secular rulers

I'm being challenged by my teacher as to what the above text means. It's not his own writting but I'm guessing it's an excerpt from a book or something. I wish I had any more context to help with decoding its meaning. What baffles me most is the part in bold. I understand latter-day to mean contemporary or modern, but what does entry mean? I looked it up and none of the definitions could help make a straight sentence. I also don't understand the to it that they have been part, it what and they who?

I'll be grateful to anyone who can help.

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It means "Entries to our political history".

If you omit part of the sentence it makes more sense:

What if figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Lech Wałesa had been more prominent parts of our political history and not the latter-day entries to it that they have been?

The "to it" means "to our political history".

This "aside" inserted in the middle of the sentence

– thanks in part to classic India –

breaks up its flow.

  • You might add, wow, what a bad sentence! Why not, "What if latter-day figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Lech Walesa had been prominent in our earlier history?" No doubt there are even better ways to put it. – Jive Dadson Sep 11 '17 at 8:50

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