The Interaction of Law and Religion

The Interaction of Law and Religion

The Interaction of Law and Religion

The Interaction of Law and Religion

Excerpt

This is a book of lectures, not a treatise or monograph. It is meant to affirm and to challenge, not to demonstrate by elaborate proofs. Although it deals with eternal questions, the book claims to be timely rather than timeless.

The principal affirmation is that law and religion are two different but interrelated aspects, two dimensions of social experience--in all societies, but especially in Western society, and still more especially in American society today. Despite the tensions between them, one cannot flourish without the other. Law without (what I call), religion degenerates into a mechanical legalism. Religion without (what I call) law loses its social effectiveness.

Some listeners were concerned that more emphasis was not placed on the conflicts between law and religion. There is, indeed, a danger of oversimplifying their reconciliation by failing to see that it is a dialectical . . .

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