Law, Theology, and Aesthetics: Identifying the Sources of Authority

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Book Chapter

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in Theology as Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Learning with and from the Natural and Human Sciences 112 (Robin W. Lovin and Joshua Mauldin eds., 2017).


In the book, leading scholars in ethics, theology, and social science sum up three years of study and conversation regarding the value of interdisciplinary theological inquiry. This is an essential and challenging collection for all who set out to think, write, teach, and preach theologically in the contemporary world.

This discussion of law, theology, and aesthetics will use a method that reflects the interdisciplinary discussions between law and theology in CTI's (The Center of Theological Inquiry) Inquiry on Law and Religious Freedom. The aim is to forge a new path to resolving ancient issues that developed with the separation of two once closely related disciplines, law and religion.

In answering the question "Why should law have the power to command obedience of those subject to the law?" this essay will reflect on religious, aesthetic, and other answers, arguing for aesthetics as the approach that can bridge the long separation of law and religion in the West. Aesthetics is a compelling common source of insight to support the flourishing of humanity in community and in the natural world. (p.113-114)

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