Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation / Edition 1

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Overview

"The Lutheran Reformation catalyzed immense and far-reaching change in both Church and state and in both religious and secular ideas. This book investigates the transformation of law and theology born of Lutheran teachings of the sixteenth century. Profound changes in legal theory, political organization, marriage, education, and social welfare were inscribed in the legal and confessional systems of that period and have had an enduring effect on the modern Protestant world and beyond." John Witte, Jr. uses the "binocular" of law and theology to present a panoramic picture of the Lutheran Reformation as an integrated legal and theological movement that continues to influence modern institutions of public and private law, and modern ideas of liberty, equality, and dignity. His book should be essential reading for scholars and students of Church history, legal history, Reformation history, and in adjacent areas such as theology, ethics, law, anthropology, and history of ideas.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] superb study..."
Paul R. Hinlicky, Roanoke College, Sixteenth Century Journal

"...an excellent book."
Journal of Religion

"Witte's book is an excellent dissertation on how law in early modern Germany coalesced with Roman law and the Code of Canon Law under the influence of Lutheran scriptural interpretation and how, in time, this aided the emergence of the secular state."
Chronicles

"Witte has written an informative and learned treatise on the development of law that should exercise a considerable influence."
First Things

"This book breaks new ground. With a binocular vision of law and theology, as the author calls it, it succeeds in mastering the daunting task of tracing the link between law and theology in the Lutheran Reformation, with special attention to law. The task is accomplished with solid scholarship, presented in an engaging literary style."
Theology Today

"This wonderful book will be edifying for all those interested in the social impact of religious movements...[it] adds a much needed counterpoint to the unflattering story of Lutheranism told so often among academics in this country."
The Christian Century

"Witte's provocative and deeply insightful examination...probes theological and legal sources which have commanded too little attention in past analysis of the Reformation...This book replaces earlier studies of the subject."
Religious Studies Review

"Witte offers an important contribution to our understanding of the Reformation generally and confessionalism specifically.... A must for scholars of the Reformation or legal history. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through practitioners."
Choice

"...well researched and superbly written by a scholar of considerable reputation... an eye opener..."
Journal of Church and State

"...provocative and rewarding..."
Law & Social Inquiry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521012997
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/10/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 1,381,043
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

John Witte, Jr. is the Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Ethics, Director of the Law and Religion Program, and Director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion at Emory University, Atlanta. A specialist in legal history and religious liberty, he has published 100 professional articles, and 12 books, including Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective, 2 vols. (1996); From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (1997); Proselytism and Orthodoxy in Russia (1999) and Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment (2000). Professor Witte's writings have appeared in German, French, Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Romanian translations. He has lectured throughout North America, Western Europe, Israel, and South Africa.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Canon law and civil law on the eve of the Reformation 33
2 Loving thine enemy's law: The Evangelical conversion of Catholic canon law 53
3 A mighty fortress: Luther and the two-kingdoms framework 87
4 Perhaps jurists are good Christians after all: Lutheran theories of law, politics, and society 119
5 From Gospel to Law: The Lutheran reformation laws 177
6 The mother of all earthly laws: The reformation of marriage law 199
7 The civic seminary: the reformation of education law 257
Concluding reflections 293
Bibliography 304
Index 331
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