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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Patriarchal Religion, Sexuality, and Gender: A Critique of New Natural Law

ISBN13: 9780521173360
Published: December 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback reissue
Price: £34.99
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780521868631

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Legal theorists are familiar with John Finnis's book Natural Law and Natural Rights, but usually overlook his interventions in US constitutional debates and his membership of a group of conservative Catholic thinkers, the 'new natural lawyers', led by theologian Germain Grisez. In fact, Finnis has repeatedly advocated conservative positions concerning lesbian and gay rights, contraception and abortion, and his substantive moral theory (as he himself acknowledges) derives from Grisez. Bamforth and Richards provide a detailed explanation of the work of the new natural lawyers within and outside the Catholic Church - the first truly comprehensive explanation available to legal theorists – and criticize Grisez’s and Finnis’s arguments concerning sexuality and gender. New natural law is, they argue, a theology rather than a secular theory, and one which is unappealing in a modern constitutional democracy. This book will be of interest to legal and political theorists, ethicists, theologians and scholars of religious history.

1. New natural law in context
2. The architecture and reach of new natural law
3. Criteria for evaluating new natural law
4. Internal consistency: is new natural law secular?
5. Internal consistency: is new natural law Thomistic?
6. Substantive appeal: what's wrong with homophobia and sexism?
7. Substantive appeal: new natural law, sexism, and homophobia
8. Substantive appeal: moral absolutes and the inconsistent fundamentalism of new natural law
9. New natural law and patriarchal religion
10. Conclusions: Christian alternatives to new natural law.