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New Law and Christianity series includes insight from Cardiff Law and Religion scholars

4 August 2017

The cover of Great Christian jurists in English History
The book cover of Great Christian jurists in English History

Members of the Centre for Law and Religion have contributed to a new book series on Law and Christianity published by Cambridge University Press.

The Law and Christianity series publishes cutting-edge work on Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian contributions to public, private, penal, and procedural law and legal theory.

Mark Hill QC, Visiting Professor at the Centre for Law and Religion and Richard Helmholz, distinguished academic associate of the Centre, have edited Great Christian jurists in English History which was published this June.

This is the first book in a planned Great Christian Jurists series which will comprise 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.

In addition to an introduction by the editors, the book includes chapters on William Lyndwood by Richard Helmholz, Richard Hooker by Norman Doe, Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Law and Religion and FW Maitland is discussed by Head of Law, Russell Sandberg,

Norman Doe has edited Christianity and Natural Law. Historically, natural law has played a pivotal role in Christian approaches to the law, and a contested role in legal philosophy generally. However, comparative study of natural law across global Christian traditions is largely neglected. This book provides not only the history of natural law ideas across mainstream Christian traditions worldwide, but also an ecumenical comparison of the contemporary natural law positions of different traditions. Its focus is not solely theoretical: it tests the practical utility of natural law by exploring its use in the legal systems of the churches studied. Alongside analysis of the assumptions underlying the concept, it also proposes a jurisprudence of Christian law itself. With chapters written by distinguished lawyers and theologians across the world, this book is designed for those studying and teaching law or theology, those who practice and study ecumenism, and those involved in the practice of church law.

In addition to a preface by the editor, the book includes chapters on 'Natural law and Christianity: a brief history' by Richard Helmholz, ‘Natural law in an interfaith context: the Abrahamic religions' by Norman Doe and 'Towards a jurisprudence of Christian law' by Russell Sandberg.

The Law and Christianity series is edited by John Witte Jr, Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law, Director of Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory Law School and distinguished academic associate of the Centre for Law and Religion.

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