Holy Writ: Interpretation in Law and Religion

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Dr Arie-Jan Kwak
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., Feb 28, 2013 - Law - 218 pages
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It has often been remarked that law and religion have much in common. One of the most conspicuous elements is that both law and religion frequently refer to a text that has authority over the members of a community. In the case of religion this text is deemed to be 'holy', in the case of law, some, such as the American constitution, are widely held as 'sacred'. In both examples, priests and judges exert a duty to tell the community what the founding document has to say about contemporary problems. This therefore involves an element of interpretation of the relevant authoritative texts and this book focuses on such methods of interpretation in the fields of law and religion. As its starting point, scholars from different disciplines discuss the textualist approach presented here by American Supreme Court Judge and academic scholar, Justice Antonin Scalia, not only from the perspective of law but also from that of theology. The result is a lively discussion which presents a range of diverse perspectives and arguments with regard to interpretation in law and religion.

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About the author (2013)

Arie-Jan Kwak is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Leiden University. He teaches courses on civil and criminal law, jurisprudence and legal methodology. His research interests range from legal methodology to legal professional ethics. He has published widely on these and related areas.

Arie-Jan Kwak, Antonin Scalia, Herman Philipse, William B. Drees, Paul Cliteur, Tom Zwart, Hans Nieuwenhuis, Hendrik Kaptein.

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