Cain as His Brother's Keeper: Property Rights and Christian Doctrine in Locke's Two Treatises of Government
Georgetown University Law Center; Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 1, p. 185, 2012
Those scholars who regard Locke’s theory of property as a reflection of conventional Christian views pay insufficient attention to the deliberate rhetorical method of his Two Treatises of Government. Close attention to the text reveals profound criticisms of prevailing Christian doctrine. In fact, Locke’s theory of property forms the core of a moral theory that aims to supplant traditional religious teaching with an ethic of human industry and individual autonomy. Understanding Locke’s intention illuminates the foundations of American constitutionalism and of modern liberalism.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 89
Keywords: constitutionalism, liberalism, modernity, natural rights, property, John LockeAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 28, 2011 ; Last revised: March 21, 2012
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