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Christian Legal Studies

About:

This project explores the historical and contemporary influence of Christian ideas, institutions, and individuals on Western law, politics, and society. Sponsors include the Pew Charitable Trusts, Inc., the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and the McDonald Agape Foundation.

Directors: John Witte, Jr. and Frank Alexander

CSLR Participants: Justin Latterell and Paul Liu

Projects within Christian Legal Studies

Directed by John Witte, Jr., this project analyzed the contributions Christianity has made and should make to the modern democratic revolution of the world. Sponsors included the Pew Charitable Trusts, Inc. and the Center for Public Justice, Washington D.C. Distinguished scholars participating included Harold J. Berman, Jon P. Gunnemann, Steven M. Tipton, and Johan D. van der Vyver as well as academics from Ghana, Kenya, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

An international conference held at Emory on this topic engaged 53 speakers and 800 participants. This project also resulted in a book, Christianity and Democracy in Global Context (Westview Press, 1993), edited by John Witte, Jr., and an article, "International Conference on Christianity and Democracy" Emory International Law Review 6 (1992): 19-69.

Directed by John Witte, Jr., this project explored church-state relations in the Western tradition; religion and human rights in Christian perspective; religious liberty in comparative perspective; and the uses of the law in church, state, family, and other authority structures. Sponsors included the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and the McDonald Agape Foundation.

This project produced two books: Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Calvinist Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 2002), by John Witte, Jr., and Sex, Marriage, and Family in John Calvin's Geneva: The Christian Household (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005).

This project analyzed and and celebrated the scholarly work of Harold J. Berman, a pioneer in the field of law and religion, as well as the first Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University. His life's work covered Russian law, international trade, legal history, legal philosophy, and law and religion. Directed by Howard O. Hunter, this project produced an international conference with six speakers and 500 participants, a scholarly article, "A Conference on the Work of Harold J. Berman," Emory Law Journal 42 (1993): 419-560, and a book, The Integrative Jurisprudence of Harold J. Berman (Westview Press, 1996), edited by Hunter.
This project systematically analyzed the historical contributions of mainline Protestantism, particularly Calvinism, to the development of the Western law governing marriage, family and children, as well as rights, liberties, and constitutionalism. The Lilly Endowment, Inc. sponsored and John Witte, Jr. directed this project, which produced nine books.

This project represents a comprehensive analysis of the contributions of modern Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox figures to fundamental questions of law, politics, and society. Directed by Frank S. Alexander and John Witte, Jr., the project was sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Inc., with cosponsorship from the University of Notre Dame. Participants included Milner S. Ball, Vigen Guroian, F. Russell Hittinger, Timothy P. Jackson, Paul R. Valliere, and Nicholas P. Wolterstorff. It produced roundtable conferences in 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2004 as well as a 2004 public conference, in partnership with the Christian Law Professors Fellowship, that drew eight speakers and 150 participants. The project also produced four books, all authored by Frank S. Alexander and John Witte, Jr.: The Teachings of Modern Orthodox Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature (Columbia University Press, 2007); The Teachings of Modern Roman Catholicism on Law, Politics, and Human Nature (Columbia University Press, 2007); The Teachings of Modern Protestantism on Law, Politics, and Human Nature (Columbia University Press, 2007); and The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature, Volume I (Columbia University Press, 2005).

This project analyzed the formation and periodic transformation of the Western legal tradition under the influence of revolutionary new belief systems, and the transition toward the formation of a new world law in the new millennium. Under the direction of Harold J. Berman, it produced 12 books, including Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Harvard University Press, 1983), with translations into Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Polish, Portugese, Russian, and Spanish. This project was sponsored by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

Books

Political Agape: A Defense of Prophetic Liberalism (Wm.B.Eerdmans 2015), Timothy Jackson

Secular Government, Religious People (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014), Robert W. Tuttle, Ira C. Lupu, eds.

The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012), Aristotle Papanikalaou

Christianity and Human Rights: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Frank Alexander and John Witte Jr., eds.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2011), Martin E. Marty

Ministers of the Law: A Natural Law Theory of Legal Authority (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), Jean Porter

Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment, 3rd Ed. (Westview Press, 2010), Joel A. Nichols, John Witte, Jr., eds.

The Political Morality of Liberal Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Michael Perry

Constitutional Rights, Moral Controversy, and the Supreme Court (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Michael Perry

Christianity and the First Amendment (Cambridge, 2009), John Smith and Amy Brown, eds.

Methodist Connectionalism: Historical Perspectives (United Methodist Church General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, 2009), Russell Richey

The Sins of the Fathers: The Law and Theology of Illegitimacy Reconsidered (Cambridge University Press, 2009), John Witte, Jr.

Christianity and Law: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Frank Alexander and John Witte, Jr., eds.

Extension Ministers: Mr. Wesley's True Heirs (United Methodist Church General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, 2008), Russell Richey

To Have and to Hold: Marrying and its Documentation in Western Christendom 400-1600 (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Philip Reynolds and John Witte, Jr., eds.

The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism (Cambridge University Press, 2007), John Witte, Jr.

Suing for America's Soul: John Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute, and Conservative Christians in the Courts (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007), R. Jonathan Moore

God's Joust, God's Justice: Law and Religion in the Western Tradition (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006), John Witte, Jr.

Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006), Stephen Grabill

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother? Child Marriage and Parental Consent in Calvin’s Geneva (Journal of Religion, Vol. 86 (2006): 580-605), John Witte, Jr.

Sex, Marriage, and Family in John Calvin’s Geneva I: Courtship, Engagement, Marriage (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005), John Witte, Jr., Robert M. Kingdon, eds.

The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature, Volume II (Columbia University Press, 2005), Frank S. Alexander, John Witte, Jr.

The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature, Volume I (Columbia University Press, 2005), Frank S. Alexander, John Witte, Jr.

Faith and Order: The Reconciliation of Law and Religion (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), John Witte, Jr.

Faith and Order: The Reconciliation of Law and Religion (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), Harold J. Berman

Reformed Christians and Social Justice (Dordt College Press, 1988), Johan D. van der Vyver

Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Harvard University Press, 1983), Harold J. Berman