Religion in Legal Thought and Practice

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Overview

This book examines moral issues in public and private life from a religious but not a devotional perspective. Rather than seeking to prove that one belief system or moral stance is right, it undertakes to help readers more fully understand the effect of religious beliefs and practices on ways of conceiving and addressing moral questions, without having to accept or reject any specific religious outlook. It shows how the similarities between religions and the differences within one religion are more important than the reverse.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521119108
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2010
  • Pages: 644
  • Product dimensions: 8.46 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Lesnick has completed 50 years as a law teacher. Specialized initially in the law of the work relation - labor law, employment discrimination and welfare law - he has served since 1978 as Impartial Umpire under the AFL-CIO 'No-raiding' agreement. He has participated in litigation, training and consultative work related to the legal problems of poor people. He is a founder and past President of the Society of American Law Teachers - a group of law teachers committed to the public responsibilities of the Bar and the law schools - and has worked, with others, to develop methods by which law students, teachers and practitioners can make their work in law more fully integrated with their aspirations and values, and with the motivations that drew them to legal careers. His current teaching interests are religion, law and lawyering; legal responses to inequality; and professional responsibility. In recent years, he has published books and articles on ethical responsibility in law practice, religion and morality, and moral education.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. Some opening prompts; 2. Religion and the life of a lawyer; Part II. Moral Obligation and Religious Belief: 3. What is the relation between the moral dimension of obligation and religious belief?; 4. Does religious belief necessarily have moral content? Does religious belief have any necessary moral content?; 5. What are the bases of resistance to religiously grounded morality?; 6. Concepts of God, scripture, and revelation: the meanings of 'divine inspiration'; 7. Modes of religiously grounded moral discernment; Part III. Religion and Some Contemporary Moral Controversies: 8. Economic justice; 9. Bioethical questions; 10. Abortion; 11. Homosexual sex; Part IV. The Interaction Between Religion and the Secular Law: 12. 'Render unto Caesar': religion and (dis)obedience to law; 13. Religiously grounded morality and the reach of public law; 14. Capital punishment; 15. War; Part V. Responding to Religious Diversity: 16. Holding the truth, lightly: religion, truth, and pluralism; 17. Jewish Christian understanding: transcending the legacy of history; Part VI. Religiously Grounded Moral Decision-Making in Professional Life: 18. Answering the call of faith in the practice of law.

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