A Society of Mutual Aid: Natural Law and Subsidiarity in Early Modern Reformed Perspective
Jordan J. Ballor
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty; Journal of Markets & Morality
May 8, 2012
Law and Religion: The Legal Teachings of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, ed. Jordan J. Ballor, Wim Decock, Michael Germann, and Laurent Waelkens (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) (Forthcoming)
The burden of this essay is to show that not merely one but indeed two ideas usually associated with Roman Catholicism have some foundations in the Reformed theological orbit of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The first of these is natural law, considered to be characteristic of Roman Catholic ethical reflection, and which after a much-needed period of reexamination is receiving its due rehabilitation in the circles of Reformed, and more broadly Protestant, theology. The second of these is the idea or principle of subsidiarity, which again receives its classic modern formulation in the context of Roman Catholic social teaching. The purpose of this study is to show in both cases that there are important and largely neglected early modern Reformed backgrounds to these doctrines, and indeed, in the course of this argument to explore in preliminary fashion the way in which natural law and subsidiarity are linked theologically.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: subsidiarity, natural law, Reformation, politics, theology
Date posted: December 6, 2012 ; Last revised: November 20, 2013
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