Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ross reviews Decock, "Theologians and Contract Law"

The JOTWELL Legal History Section has posted new material: Richard Ross reviews Wim Decock, Theologians and Contract Law: The Moral Transformation of the Ius Commune (ca. 1500-1650) (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2012). Here's the first paragraph of the review, titled "Bargaining with the Soul at Stake: Early Modern Catholic Scholastics and Contract Law":
Decock’s judicious and insightful book participates in the rediscovery of the theological foundations of modern Western law.  With great precision he uncovers the debt that our contract law owes to early modern Catholic scholastic theologians such as Domingo de Soto, Luis de Molina, Leonardus Lessius, and Francisco Su├írez.  These writers treated contracts not only as devices for the exchange of property.  They understood that contracting involved moral choices that could advance or retard justice and the prospects for the salvation of one’s soul.  In order to clarify these ethical dilemmas for Catholic confessors and for laymen wrestling with their consciences, scholastic theologians commented upon the ordinances of their own communities and the Roman law used throughout late medieval Europe (the ius commune).  Their works influenced early modern canonists, civilians, and natural lawyers and, through them, left an important mark on modern European and American contract law.
Read on here.

No comments:

Post a Comment