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Natural Law, Liberal Religion, and Freedom of Association: James Luther Adams on the Problem of Jurisprudence

Douglas Sturm
The Journal of Religious Ethics
Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring, 1992), pp. 179-207
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40015146
Page Count: 29
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Natural Law, Liberal Religion, and Freedom of Association: James Luther Adams on the Problem of Jurisprudence
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Abstract

In contrast to classical natural law theory and traditional individualist liberalism, James Luther Adams develops a version of natural law doctrine grounded in liberal religion. In its ontological dimension, his natural law doctrine is derived from a communal understanding of the character of reality. In its institutional dimension, his natural law doctrine promotes a kind of democracy in which freedom of association is central. From this perspective, law is a practice intended to empower persons through their several associations in the constant formation and transformation of community under the direction of divine power.

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