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Religion in Legal Thought and Practice


  • Date Published: March 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521134484


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About the Authors
  • This book examines moral issues in public and private life from a religious but not devotional perspective. Rather than seeking to prove that one belief system or moral stance is right, it undertakes to help readers more fully understand the effect of religious beliefs and practices on ways of conceiving and addressing moral questions, without having to accept or to reject any specific religious outlook. It shows how the similarities between religions and the differences within any one religion are more important than the reverse. The book asks • Where do moral imperatives come from, and how do the answers found in religion and law interact? • How does the fact that a moral norm is grounded in religion affect our thinking about it? • What is the significance of the differences (and similarities) between religious and secular sources of moral norms?

    • Is neither pro- nor anti-religion, it takes both religion and secularism seriously
    • Avoids caricaturing any point of view
    • Uses over 125 edited excerpts and commentary to evoke the reader's deeper engagement with the matter being examined
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521134484
    • length: 644 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 33 mm
    • weight: 1.1kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Some opening prompts
    2. Religion and the life of a lawyer
    Part II. Moral Obligation and Religious Belief:
    3. What is the relation between the moral dimension of obligation and religious belief?
    4. Does religious belief necessarily have moral content? Does religious belief have any necessary moral content?
    5. What are the bases of resistance to religiously grounded morality?
    6. Concepts of God, scripture, and revelation: the meanings of 'divine inspiration'
    7. Modes of religiously grounded moral discernment
    Part III. Religion and Some Contemporary Moral Controversies:
    8. Economic justice
    9. Bioethical questions
    10. Abortion
    11. Homosexual sex
    Part IV. The Interaction Between Religion and the Secular Law:
    12. 'Render unto Caesar': religion and (dis)obedience to law
    13. Religiously grounded morality and the reach of public law
    14. Capital punishment
    15. War
    Part V. Responding to Religious Diversity:
    16. Holding the truth, lightly: religion, truth, and pluralism
    17. Jewish Christian understanding: transcending the legacy of history
    Part VI. Religiously Grounded Moral Decision-Making in Professional Life:
    18. Answering the call of faith in the practice of law.

  • Author

    Howard Lesnick, University of Pennsylvania Law School

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