Thursday, January 13, 2011
Last Saturday was the Annual Conference on Christian Legal Thought, cosponsored by Lumen Christi and the Law Professors' Christian Fellowship. I was only able to attend a portion of the day's events, but a real highlight was hearing about a forthcoming project by Patrick Brennan and William Brewbaker, Christian Legal Thought: Materials and Cases. What is so promising about this book is that it aims to place Christian legal thought on par with other "law and ___" disciplines in terms of intellectual rigor and organizational coherence. Though we've seen some great volumes published in the past few years exploring the connections between Christianity and the law, they do not lend themselves easily to a traditional 3-credit law school course outside the seminar room. Judging from Brennan's overview of the contents, the scope of the book's topics will make it difficult to marginalize on political or ideological terms: it should excite Republicans, Democrats, Catholics, Protestants, secularists, etc. It will be interesting to see whether there is much untapped interest among law school profs and students for a course on Christianity and law, and whether the difficulty in organizing materials for the course has been the primary obstacle for many profs. This should remove that obstacle once and for all.