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"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Resources for a Christian approach to law - updated

Herman Dooyeweerd, the pioneer of reformational philosophy, was a legal scholar. He wrote a number of books on a Christian approach to law. However, they may not be the best place to start!

Encyclopedia of Legal Science (Collected Works of Herman Dooyeweerd) Edwin Mellen, 1997-1998.
More details and excerpts are available here:

Others who have utilized many of Dooyeweerd’s ideas include:

E. L. Hebden Taylor
The New legality in the Light of the Christian Philosophy of LawPhiladelphia, Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1967

The Christian Philosophy of Law, Politics and the State: A Study of the Political and Legal Thought of Herman Dooyeweerd of the Free University of Amsterdam, Holland and the Basis for Christian Action in the English-Speaking World Nutley, N.J.: Craig Press, 1966.

Alan Cameron, recently retired from Victoria University has written a number of articles available on

1995. Coase on law and economics (previously unpublished) [pdf]
1997. Implications of Dooyeweerd's legal philosophy for political theory. Nuances [electronic] 5 (August) Pt 5. (offsite)
1997. 'A Reformational Perspective on Law and Justice', Chapter 13 in Signposts of God's Liberating Kingdom: Perspectives for the 21st Century Vol. 1, 1997 (Potchefstroom: IRS.) , pp 189-204
1998. Dooyeweerd's jurisprudential method: legal causality as a case study. ALTA 1998 Conference Proceedings vol 2: 595-634.
1998. Dooyeweerd on law and morality: legal ethics - a test case. Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 28 (1): 263-281. [pdf]
1998. 'Law, justice and ethics'
2000. 'Implications of Dooyeweerd's encyclopedia of legal science' in D F M Strauss and M Botting (ed.) Contemporary Reflections of the Philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd (Edwin Mellen, NY)
2000. Between norm and fact: the jurisprudence of Herman Dooyeweerd.
This article is an edited version of a paper delivered at the Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Legal Philosophy, Australian National University, Canberra, 2000 under the conference theme of “dissenting jurisprudence.”
2004. The Encyclopedia of the Science of Law: a provisional assessment of the Legal Philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd
A paper prepared for presentation as a public lecture at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario, 27 September 2004.
2006. 'Integrity as a jural concept'. Journal for Christian Scholarship 42 (Special Issue No.1) 37-48

Philosophia Reformata
Van Eikema Hommes, H J “The Functions of Law and the Role of Legal Principles” 1974 39 77-81
Van Eikema Hommes, H J “The Limits of the Legal Competence of the State”.1976 41 39,714

Journal of Christian Scholarship
DFM Strauss 2005 Can Legal Rights be Assigned to "Natural Objects" such as (Plants and) Animals J. Chr Schol
S. de Freitas 2006 Religion, Legal Scholarship, and a Christian Response
S A de Freitas 2001 The fragility of life within the secular law sphere
Prof A W G Raath 2004 The Idea of the State Subject to Law: Lessons from the German Experience 1840 – 1940.
Prof AWG Raath 2005 Divine Law, Natural Law and Reason in Dutch Jurisprudence: The Rise of Moral Relativism in the Jurisprudence of the Dutch "Golden Age"

John Witte Jr
Christianity and Law: An Introduction Cambridge University Press, 2008
The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature: vols 1 and 2. Columbia University Press 2006
The Teachings of Modern Protestantism on Law, Politics, and Human Nature. Columbia University Press 2006

David McIroy A Biblical View of Law and Justice (Paternoster, 2004)

David S. Caudill:
"Christian Legal Theory: The Example of Dooyeweerd's Critique of Romanist Individualism and Germanic Communitarianism in Property Law" Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 5 (2007): 33
"A Calvinist perspective on faith in legal scholarship" Journal of Legal Ed. (1997)
"Law and belief: critical legal studies and the philosophy of the law-idea" in Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought ed. M. W. Connell et al. (Yale University Press, 2002).
Property: Cases, Documents, and Lawyering Strategies (with David Crump and David Charles Hricik) (2008)
Radical Philosophy of Law: Contemporary Challenges to Mainstream Legal Theory and Practice (1995)


Michael P. Schutt 2007. Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession. InterVarsity Press

Redeeming law blog

Cross and Gravel bibliography 

Journal of Christian Legal Thought vol 1 (1) - edited by Michael P. Scutt

C. Scott Pryor 2000. "Mission Possible: A Paradigm for Analysis of Contractual Impossibility at Regent University," St. John's Law Review 74. 

C. Scott Pryor 2005-06. "Consideration in the Common Law of Contracts: A Biblical-Theological Critique," Regent University Law Review 18:1.

C. Scott Pryor on integrating faith and law:

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