Divine Law and Political Philosophy in Plato's Laws

Divine Law and Political Philosophy in Plato's Laws

by Mark J. Lutz


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All over the world secular rationalist governments and judicial authorities have been challenged by increasingly forceful claims made on behalf of divine law. For those who believe that reason—not faith—should be the basis of politics and the law, proponents of divine law raise theoretical and practical concerns that must be addressed seriously and respectfully. As Mark J. Lutz makes plain in this illuminating book, they have an important ally in Plato, whose long neglected Laws provides an eye-opening analysis of the relation between political philosophy and religion and a powerful defense of political rationalism.
Plato mounts his case, Lutz reveals, through a productive dialogue between his Athenian Stranger and various devout citizens that begins by exploring the common ground between them, but ultimately establishes the authority of rational political philosophy to guide the law. The result will fascinate not only political theorists but also scholars at all levels with an interest in the intersection of religion and politics or in the questions that surround ethics and civic education.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875807171
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 03/30/2015
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mark J. Lutz is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and author of Socrates’ Education to Virtue: Learning the Love of the Noble.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 3

1 The Minos and the Socratic Examination of Law 12

2 The Rational Interpretation of Divine Law 33

3 The Examination of the Laws of Sparta 54

4 Divine Law and Moral Education 90

5 The Problem of Erotic Love and Practical Reason under Divine Law 116

6 Perfect Justice and Divine Providence 134

7 The Savior of Divine Law 165

Notes 183

Modern Works Cited 193

Index 197

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