Natural Law, Liberal Religion, and Freedom of Association: James Luther Adams on the Problem of Jurisprudence
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Religious Ethics 20 (1):179 - 207 (1992)
In contrast to classical natural law theory and traditional individualist liberalism, James Luther Adams develops a version of natural law doctrine grounded in liberal religion. In its ontological dimension, his natural law doctrine is derived from a communal understanding of the character of reality. In its institutional dimension, his natural law doctrine promotes a kind of democracy in which freedom of association is central. From this perspective, law is a practice intended to empower persons through their several associations in the constant formation and transformation of community under the direction of divine power.
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