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פורום משפט וחברה מארח את פרופ' ריצ'רד רוס


פרופסור רוס יציג את טיוטת מאמרו:

להלן הנחיות הקריאה שלו.

I would suggest that attendees read sections 1-3 (pp. 1-26) and the final three paragraphs of the paper on pp. 36-37.

ריצ'רד ערך לאחרונה יחד עם לורין בנטון Lauren Benton את Legal Pluralism and Empires, 1500-1850 (NYU Press, 2013/

להלן תקציר המאמר:


Romans 13:5 said that Christians should obey law not only for fear of punishment but “also for conscience sake.”  Early modern Protestants and Catholics agreed that violations of laws that bound conscience, if unrepented, threatened damnation.  But which types of law bound?  Natural and divine moral law did.  Human laws presented a complicated case.  Disobedience to only certain classes of human laws—but not all—imperiled the soul.  Catholics and Protestants debated how to distinguish ordinances that obligated conscience from those that did not. 


The stakes were considerable.  Romans 13:5 multiplied the potency of rulers.  But a world in which violation of any ordinance brought damnation would be unlivable.  And it would preclude the bargaining about law at the heart of politics.  The application of Romans 13:5 necessarily became a dialectical endeavor.  Theorists generated arguments to bind conscience and release it.


This essay explores the ways in which Spanish Thomists and English Protestants linked human law to the fate of the soul and challenged that connection.  They relied heavily on jurists’ categories for assessing the validity and meaning of law in order to know which human ordinances obligated conscience under what circumstances.  The history of how theologians, manipulating borrowed jurists’ categories, turned Romans 13:5 into a vital system for regulating conduct offers a valuable perspective for assessing interconfessional borrowing.  And it helps us recover the repertoire of available moves among early modern Christians for subjecting conscience to human law or releasing it, with crucial effects in politics and daily life.  Seeing Romans 13:5 from this perspective directs attention to the deep and changing intersections of legal and religious thought over a century and a half.