Some interesting law & religion stories from around the web this week:
This April, Cambridge University Press will publish Normative Pluralism and International Law: Exploring Global Governance edited by Jan Klabbers (Helsinki University) and Touko Piiparinen (Finnish Institute of International Affairs). The publisher’s description follows.
This book addresses conflicts involving different normative orders: What happens when international law prohibits behavior, but the same behavior is nonetheless morally justified or warranted? Can the actor concerned ignore international law under appeal to morality? Can soldiers escape legal liability by pointing to honor? Can accountants do so under reference to professional standards? How, in other words, does law relate to other normative orders? The assumption behind this book is that law no longer automatically claims supremacy, but that actors can pick and choose which code to follow. The novelty resides not so much in identifying conflicts, but in exploring if, when, and how different orders can be used intentionally. In doing so, the book covers conflicts between legal orders and conflicts involving law and honor, self-regulation, lex mercatoria, local social practices, bureaucracy, religion, professional standards, and morality.
This May, Oxford University Press will publish Reason, Morality, and Law: The Philosophy of John Finnis edited by John Keown (Georgetown University) and Robert P. George (Princeton University). The publisher’s description follows.
John Finnis is a pioneer in the development of a new yet classically-grounded theory of natural law. His work offers a systematic philosophy of practical reasoning and moral choosing that addresses the great questions of the rational foundations of ethical judgments, the identification of moral norms, human agency, and the freedom of the will, personal identity, the common good, the role and functions of law, the meaning of justice, and the relationship of morality and politics to religion and the life of faith. The core of Finnis’ theory, articulated in his seminal work Natural Law and Natural Rights, has profoundly influenced later work in the philosophy of law and moral and political philosophy, while his contributions to the ethical debates surrounding nuclear deterrence, abortion, euthanasia, sexual morality, and religious freedom have powerfully demonstrated the practical implications of his natural law theory.
This volume, which gathers eminent moral, legal, and political philosophers, and theologians to engage with John Finnis’ work, offers the first sustained, critical study of Finnis’ contribution across the range of disciplines in which rational and morally upright choosing is a central concern. It includes a substantial response from Finnis himself, in which he comments on each of their 27 essays and defends and develops his ideas and arguments.