Rendering to Caesar and God : St Paul, the natural law tradition and the authority of law

Deagon, Alex (2014) Rendering to Caesar and God : St Paul, the natural law tradition and the authority of law. Law, Culture and the Humanities. (In Press)

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Abstract

The question of the authority of law has occupied and vexed the literature and philosophy of law for centuries. Law is something that characteristically implies obedience, but the precise nature of law’s authority remains contentious. The return to the writings of the Apostle Paul in contemporary philosophy, theology and jurisprudence begs attention in relation to the authority of law, and so this article will consider his analysis and critique of law with a focus on his Epistle to the Romans. It argues that Paul’s conception of the authority of law is explained on the basis that the law is from God, it externally sanctions obedience by virtue of the civil authorities, and it convicts internally in conscience. This triad is justified by the law of love (‘‘love your neighbor as yourself’’), and will be explained in relation to the natural law tradition as well as converse ideas in positivism. Hence, considering the reasoning of Paul in relation to traditional jurisprudential themes and the law of love provides a useful alternative analysis and basis for further investigation regarding the authority of law and the need for its obedience.

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ID Code: 79409
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Paul, Law, Love, Authority
DOI: 10.1177/1743872114524324
ISSN: 1743-8721
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS (220400) > Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History) (220401)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author
Deposited On: 11 Dec 2014 22:57
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016 04:59

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