Law Imprisons, Love Liberates
Joshua Neoh, ‘Law Imprisons, Love Liberates’ (2018) 30 Law and Literature 221
24 Pages Posted: 11 May 2020
Date Written: 2017
The received conventional wisdom from Paul in the New Testament is deceptively simple: law imprisons but love liberates. If we separate the chaff from the wheat, we will discover a grain of truth in this received wisdom. The purpose of this paper is to separate the chaff from the wheat. In what way does law imprison and in what way does love liberate? It will examine the relationship between law, love and freedom. It argues that while law reduces one’s freedom in a sense, it reconstitutes it in another sense. Law does not imprison in any straightforward way. Love, too, does not liberate in any straightforward way. Love is a free act that restricts one’s freedom.
Keywords: law, love, freedom, authority, autonomy, heteronomy
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