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Cain as His Brother's Keeper: Property Rights and Christian Doctrine in Locke's Two Treatises of Government


Steven Menashi


New York University School of Law


Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 1, p. 185, 2012

Abstract:     
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 Locke

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Date posted: March 28, 2011 ; Last revised: March 21, 2012

Suggested Citation

Menashi, Steven, Cain as His Brother's Keeper: Property Rights and Christian Doctrine in Locke's Two Treatises of Government. Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 1, p. 185, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1792700

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Steven Menashi (Contact Author)
New York University School of Law ( email )
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
202-596-7375 (Phone)
202-315-3462 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://its.law.nyu.edu/facultyprofiles/profile.cfm?personID=39673
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