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Professor Robert Cochran Publishes Christianity and Private Law

Professor Robert F. Cochran has co-edited the book, Christianity and Private Law, which is part of a 20-book series on Law and Religion published by Routledge. The volume examines the relationship between Christian legal theory and the fields of private law.  Professor Cochran comments about the project:

I greatly enjoyed putting the book, Christianity and Private Law, together with my friend Michael Moreland of Villanova law school. It grew out of the 2017 Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics conference, "Religious Critiques of Law." Most areas of law are founded on moral values, and if you scratch beneath the surface of those values you are likely to find religious values. This book presents the Christian roots, as well as Christian critiques, of three areas of law which are not commonly thought to be founded on religious values--property, contracts, and torts. They are traditionally known as private law. It was terrific to work with some of the foremost legal scholars in the world in each of these subject areas. Many had not addressed their subject areas from a Christian perspective in the past. Some of the articles explore the Christian roots of law. Others criticize the law from Christian perspectives. Of course, there is substantial disagreement among Christians about the direction that Christian principles should take the law. Some of the most engaging parts of the book, as well as the conference, concern those disagreements. My Pepperdine colleague Michael Helfand prepared a thoughtful chapter exploring whether religiously-grounded contracts might establish relations between parties based on religious principles and enforced in religious tribunals. I am grateful to Pepperdine for having enabled me to lead this project.

Christianity and Private Law includes the following scholarly contributions:

1. Introduction and Introductory Essays

a. Brent Strawn (Emory) - Biblical Understandings of Private Law
b. James Gordley (Tulane) - Christian Origins of Private Law

2. Property

a. David Opderbeck (Seton Hall) - Christian Thought and Property Law
b. William Brubaker (Alabama) - Augustinian Property
c. Richard D H. Helmholz - (Chicago) Religion And English Property Law –1500-1700
d. Adam Mcleod (Faulkner) – Property and Practical Reason
e. Paula Franzese and Angela Carmella (Seton Hall) – Housing and Hope: Private Property and Catholic Social Teaching

3. Contracts

a. Wim Decock (Dept. of Roman Law and Legal History, Faculty of Law, KU Leuven, Belgium) - Contract Law in Early Modern Scholasticism
b. David Caudill (Villanova) - Private Law in Christian Perspective: The Example of Dooyeweerd on Contracts
c. Joel A. Nichols (St. Thomas) - Christianity, Consent, And Conscience
d. C. Scott Pryor (Campbell) - Revisiting Unconscionability: Reciprocity and Justice
e. Val Ricks (South Texas) – Freedom to Do Good as a Limit on Private Law and Implications for the Contract Doctrine of Consideration
f. Michael Helfand (Pepperdine) - Privatization and Pluralism: Promoting Religious Values Through Contract

4. Torts

a. Jeffrey Pojanowski (Notre Dame) and Michael Moreland (Villanova) – The Moral of Torts
b. Barbara Armacost (UVa) – Christianity, Torts, Law, and Economics
c. David Partlett (Emory) – Tort Law and Its Three Christian Pillars
d. Nathan Oman (William and Mary) – John Calvin's Quarrel With Civil Recourse Theory
e. Robert F. Cochran, Jr.(Pepperdine) - Tort Law and Intermediate Communities: Catholic and Calvinist Theories

Additional information on Christianity and Private Law may be found here.