Protestantism, Law, and Legal Thought
John Witte Jr.
Emory University School of Law
The Blackwell Companion to Protestantism, pp. 298-305, A.E. McGrath, D.C. Marks, eds., 2002
Most Western nations today are dedicated to the rule of law and have constitutions that define the powers and provinces of political authorities and the rights and duties of their political subjects. Most nations make formal distinctions among the executive, legislative and judicial powers of government and functions of law, and distinguish among bodies of public law, private law, and criminal law, each with its own forms and norms of due process of law. Most have sophisticated rules and procedures to facilitate the legal transactions and interactions of their citizens and subjects and to resolve disputes between and among citizens and the government. Most recognize multiple sources of law - international treaties and conventions, national constitutions, statutes, regulations, judicial precedents, customary practices and so forth. Protestantism has made significant contributions to a number of these Western legal ideas and institutions - particularly during the Protestant Reformation era in Europe and in later Reformed and evangelical movements on both sides of the Atlantic.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 9
Keywords: Western, law, politics, legal theory, legislative power, judicial power, protestantAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 15, 2011
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