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Natural law has long been considered the traditional source of Roman Catholic canon law. However, new scholarship is critical of this approach as it portrays the Catholic Church as static, ahistorical, and insensitive to cultural change. In its attempt to stem the massive loss of effectiveness being experienced by canon law, the church has to reconsider its theory of legal foundation, especially its natural law theory.
Church Law in Modernity analyses the criticism levelled at the church and puts forward solutions for reconciling church law with modernity by revealing the historical and cultural authenticity of all law, and revising the processes of law making. In a modern church, there is no way of thinking of the law without the participation of the faithful in legislation. Judith Hahn therefore proposes a reformed legislative process for the church in the hope of reconciling the natural law origins of church law with a new, modern theology.