This week we feature Jefferey Brauch, Professor at Regent University School of Law, author of A Higher Law: Readings on the Influence of Christian Thought in Anglo-American Law (2008) and an earlier edition, Is Higher Law Common Law (1999).
Jeffrey A. Brauch on A Higher Law: Readings on the Influence of Christian Thought in Anglo-American Law:
A Higher Law came out of my teaching experience in a course on “Christian Foundations of Law” at Regent University School of Law. The course is required for first-year law students. In their other first-year courses students learn the legal rules and doctrines that govern various areas of the law (contracts, property, torts, civil procedure). The Christian Foundations course encourages students to take a step back from those courses and ask “why?” Why do we enforce contracts? Why do we punish crime? Why is the rule of law so important? The book contains a set of readings that assist in answering those questions.
The book introduces readers to some basic principles of legal history and legal philosophy. It involves legal history by considering the development of the Anglo-American common law from the Middle Ages to today. The book involves philosophy by asking broad questions about the nature of law and about worldviews that have shaped the common law over time. The book also involves theology. It helps readers explore the Christian foundations of law and legal institutions.
The book is a survey, providing an introduction to the topics it covers. It is also selective. I chose the readings included here from books, articles and cases for one of two reasons. They are either historically or philosophically significant or they raise important issues and are thought-provoking. Many are both.
It is my hope that the book will cause readers to think more deeply about what the law is, where it has come from, and what it ought to be.
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A Higher Law: Readings on the Influence of Christian Thought in Anglo-American Law
This second edition is designed to further the quest to look beyond legal rules and institutions to the legal philosophies that shaped them. It’s overall purpose and most of the readings remain unchanged, but some readings have been updated to reflect recent developments in the law, including critical race theory and jury reforms. This new edition also addresses current issuesregarding international and constitutional law, considering the moral and legal arguments regarding preemptive war and whether transgender individuals have a fundamental human right to change their sexual identity on their birth certificate. This broader focus recognizes that many clashesover legal worldview are taking place outside the realm of the common law.
Item #: 65758
Published: Buffalo; William S. Hein & Co., Inc.; 2008