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Great Christian Jurists in English History

Book description

The Great Christian Jurists series comprises a library of national volumes of detailed biographies of leading jurists, judges and practitioners, assessing the impact of their Christian faith on the professional output of the individuals studied. Little has previously been written about the faith of the great judges who framed and developed the English common law over centuries, but this unique volume explores how their beliefs were reflected in their judicial functions. This comparative study, embracing ten centuries of English law, draws some remarkable conclusions as to how Christianity shaped the views of lawyers and judges. Adopting a long historical perspective, this volume also explores the lives of judges whose practice in or conception of law helped to shape the Church, its law or the articulation of its doctrine.


‘The scope is wide, reaching from the thirteenth century (Henry of Bratton) to the twentieth (Lord Denning), and the chapters are of consistently high quality. Thus the volume is no mere biographical collection, but a unique contribution for the way it explores the complicated interactions between faith and practice, ecclesiastical law and common law, and recurring questions about the boundaries between civil and ecclesial jurisdictions. … In sum, this is an excellent start for the Great Christian Jurists series, and it has set a high bar for subsequent volumes.'

Source: Journal of Markets and Morality

'This book deserves wide readership not only by researchers but for its general historical interest. Each essay is discrete and can be enjoyed separately or as part of the whole.'

Sheila Cameron Source: Church Times

'Great Christian Jurists presents a fascinating diversity in the interaction between faith and law, dependent among other things on the person’s character and temperament, as well as the relevant historical context. Perhaps, therefore, the key lesson of the book is that the relationship between Christianity and law in a person’s life is a complex one, not susceptible of one single authorized mode of expression. Faith can be expressed in more than one legitimate way and it would be inappropriate to attempt to contrive a single model or blueprint. The volume succeeds in providing a helpful overview of the life and contributions made by leading Christian jurists, and makes a welcome contribution to the Cambridge Studies in Law and Christianity series.'

Benjamin B. Saunders Source: Reading Religion

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