Monday, June 27, 2011
Speaking of important books coming out in law and religion . . . . Please pardon the (intended) slight immodesty, but a book of possible interest and value to those engaged in matters discussed on MOJ is officially on the way. A number of MOJers and friends of MOJ may recall that, back in January, 2011, at the annual meeting co-sponsored by the Law Professors' Christian Fellowship and the Lumen Christi Institute in San Francisco, I outlined the manuscript on which Bill Brewbaker (U of Alabama) and I were at work: Christian Perspectives on Law: Cases and Materials. I am happy to report that the book will be published by Foundation Press.
The animating principle of the book, which is intended for classroom use (in law schools and beyond), is that Christian theology and philosophy are (at least) every bit as able to provide a critical perspective on law as literary theory, queer theory, analytic jurisprudence, economics, and the rest can offer. Christian thought -- not economic theory or sociological jurisprudence -- is the "lens" Bill and I mean to offer on law and legal practice. We intend, moreover, to make the scope of the Christian perspective we offer as wide as possible, with clear indications of where we discern that individuals and groups across the Christian spectrum agree or disagree.
The comments Bill and I received back in January and shortly thereafter were extraordinarily helpful and encouraging of the value of the project, and we're drafting with all of them in mind. We aim to produce a book that is useful to as many potential teachers in this area as possible. The start-up costs for a course like this are huge, which is why we are not only writing the book but also preparing a teachers' manual that will be quite elaborate.
Please email Bill and/or me with suggestions, ideas, etc. Our devout hope is that a serviceable book of this sort will increase the frequency with which the Christian perspectives on law are offered, both in Christian law schools and elsewhere. We are grateful to the editors of Foundation Press for their willingness to publish a book that Hart & Wechsler, whatever their amazing strengths and contributions, never could have imagined.