Skip to main content
×
Home

PROTESTANT LEGAL THEORY? APOLOGY AND OBJECTIONS

  • Jeffrey B. Hammond (a1)
Abstract

The academic interdisciplinary study of law and religion is in a unique place, brimming with hope and promise. This constellation of scholars, conferences, journals, academic centers, books and book series, and public interest law firms has matured considerably since the “path-breaking” commencement of the movement, the publication of Harold Berman's 1974 short book, The Interaction of Law and Religion. No longer can the study of law and religion be solely identified with the study of the First Amendment's religion clauses. Scholars have explored topics both large scale and fine grain in history, church law, the intersection of religious ethics and law, religion and international human rights law, and in other subareas of the field.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      PROTESTANT LEGAL THEORY? APOLOGY AND OBJECTIONS
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      PROTESTANT LEGAL THEORY? APOLOGY AND OBJECTIONS
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      PROTESTANT LEGAL THEORY? APOLOGY AND OBJECTIONS
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All

1 Berman Harold J., The Interaction of Law and Religion (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1974). For the description of The Interaction of Law and Religion as “path-breaking,” see Witte John Jr. and Manzer Christopher J., introduction to Harold J. Berman, Law and Language: Effective Symbols of Community, ed. Witte John Jr. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

2 David Skeel offers his own four-part typology of “Christian legal scholarship” in Skeel David A. Jr., “The Unbearable Lightness of Christian Legal Scholarship,Emory Law Journal 57, no. 6 (2008): 14711525 .

3 See, for example, Broyde Michael J., The Pursuit of Justice and Jewish Law: Halakhic Perspectives on the Legal Profession (New York: Yashar Books, 2007); see also, An-Na‘im Abdullah A., Islamic Family Law in a Changing World: A Global Resource Book (London: Zed Books, 2002).

4 See Mirror of Justice, www.mirrorofjustice.blogs.com, which self-referentially calls itself “a blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory”; but see Finnis John, Natural Law and Natural Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980) (for an example of Catholic legal theory that is a synthesis of Thomist and Aristotelian philosophies).

5 Of the many books and articles, see, for example, VanDrunen David, Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2014); Cochran Robert F. Jr. and VanDrunen David, eds., Law and the Bible: Justice, Mercy and Legal Institutions (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2013) (containing Protestant and other Christian perspectives); McConnell Michael W., Cochran Robert F. Jr., and Carmella Angela C., eds., Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001) (containing Protestant and other Christian perspectives).

6 For an article that responds to a theory of law, positivism, in a compelling Christian voice, see Alexander Frank S., “Beyond Positivism: A Theological Approach,” in “The Constitution and Human Values: The Unfinished Agenda,” special issue, Georgia Law Review 20, no. 4 (1986): 1089–135.

7 For one of Dooyeweerd's many writings on the nature of law, see Dooyeweerd Herman, Encyclopedia of the Science of Law, Collected Works, series A, volume 8, book 1 (Grand Rapids: Paideia Press, 2012).

8 In addition to their other exceptional work in law and religion, Harold Berman and John Witte have cracked the door open regarding the bases upon which a Christian jurisprudence may be built. See Berman Harold J., “Toward an Integrative Jurisprudence: Politics, Morality, History,California Law Review 76, no. 4 (1988): 779801 ; Witte John Jr., “Law and Religion: The Challenges of Christian Jurisprudence,” in “Can the Seamless Garment Be Sewn? The Future of Pro-Life Progressivism,” special issue, University of St. Thomas Law Journal 2, no. 2 (2005): 439–52.

9 See, for example, Schwartzman Micah, “What If Religion Is Not Special?,University of Chicago Law Review 79, no. 4 (2012): 1351–427; Leiter Brian, Why Tolerate Religion? (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013).

10 There has been not a small amount of controversy about the differences, if any, between the terms legal theory, jurisprudence, and philosophy of law. Georgetown law professor Lawrence Solum helpfully distinguishes between the terms in an article on his blog. See Lawrence Solum, “Legal Theory Lexicon 044: Legal Theory, Jurisprudence, and the Philosophy of Law,” Legal Theory Lexicon (blog), May 30, 2005, http://lsolum.typepad.com/legal_theory_lexicon/2005/05/legal_theory_le.html. Consider what Solum has to say about the term legal theory:

Legal theory is a much broader and encompassing term, encompassing the philosophy of law and jurisprudence as well as theorizing from a variety of other perspectives, including law and economics and the law and society movement. In my opinion, “legal theory” is currently the best neutral term for referring to legal theorizing, broadly understood. It allows us to avoid the turf wars and sectarian disputes that make the word “jurisprudence” somewhat problematic.

Ibid. Therefore, in this essay I adopt legal theory as a synonym of jurisprudence.

11 For more on the role of intellectual humility in crafting a Christian interaction with law, see Marshall Ellen Ott, “Theological Humility in the World of Law,Journal of Law and Religion 32, no. 1 (2017) (this issue).

12 See, for example, Doe Norman's essay, “The Category ‘Legal Theology’ and the Study of Christian Laws,Journal of Law and Religion 32, no. 1 (2017) (this issue), for an extended discussion of how the various branches of academic theology might manifest themselves when used to answer foundational questions of law; see also, Brewbaker William S. III's thought-provoking essay, “Creaturely Law,Journal of Law and Religion 32, no. 1 (2017) (this issue), on the theology of creation and the law.

13 For criticism of a Rawlsian understanding of law based on the necessity of “public reasons,” see Jackson Timothy P.'s essay, “Theology and Law Divorced and Reconciled: Thomas, Luther, Rawls, and Us,Journal of Law and Religion 32, no. 1 (2017) (this issue).

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Law and Religion
  • ISSN: 0748-0814
  • EISSN: 2163-3088
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-law-and-religion
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 23
Total number of PDF views: 42 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 193 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 17th April 2017 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.