John Witte, Jr.
Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law and Ethics
Director, Law & Religion Program
Frank S. Alexander
Professor of Law
Co-Director, Law & Religion Program
Team members are currently preparing two volumes on modern Christian views of law and human nature. The first volume will be an anthology of illustrative writings drawn from leading Christian theologians, jurists, church leaders and ethicists who collectively illustrate the diversity and depth of modern Christian teachings relating to law and human nature. The second volume will be a set of original interpretive essays on these same people that will, depending on the subject, address a wide range of questions such as: "What are the fundamental feature of human nature that the law must acknowledge or address?" "How does the person come to know what the law requires and what is authoritative in the identification of knowledge and truth—Scripture, faith, tradition, reason?" "How are the tensions between the individual and collective discernment of different types of law to be acknowledged and/or resolved?" "What is the nature of obedience, and disobedience, to legal or cultural norms that conflict with divine commands?"
Figures to be studied from the Catholic tradition include Pope Leo XIII, Jacques Maritain, John Courtney Murray, John XXIII, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Dorothy Day, and Pope John Paul II; from the Protestant tradition, Abraham Kuyper, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reinhold Niebuhr, Martin Luther King, Jr., William Stringfellow, and John Howard Yoder; and from the Orthodox tradition, Nikolai Berdiaev, Sergei Bulgakov, Dumitru Staniloe, Vladimir Nikolai Lossky, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.