How the Thought of Francisco Suárez, SJ, Can Renew Contemporary Legal Engagement
Elisabeth Rain Kincaid
A constructive model of engagement with unjust laws from the ground up
The current political atmosphere would suggest that law is imposed only from above, specifically by the chief executive acting upon some sort of perceived populist mandate.
In Law from Below, Elisabeth Rain Kincaid argues that the theology of the early modern legal theorist and theologian, Francisco Suárez, SJ may be successfully retrieved to provide a constructive model of legal engagement for Christians today. Suárez’s theology was developed to combat an authoritarian view of law, suggesting that communities may work to change law from the ground up as they function within the legal system, not just outside it. Law from Below suggests that Suárez’s theory of law provides a theologically robust way to mount a counter-narrative to contemporary authoritarian theories of law, while still acknowledging the good in the rule of law and its imposition by a legislative authority. Suárez acknowledges the crucial contribution of citizens to improving law’s moral content, without removing the importance of law’s own authority or the role of the lawgiver.
Law from Below argues that the dialogue between legislators and the community provides Christian activists with a range of options for constructively engaging with law in order to have a positive impact on society.
Elisabeth Rain Kincaid is the Legendre-Soulé Chair in Business Ethics & Director of the Center for Ethics and Economic Justice at Loyola University New Orleans. Kincaid has published broadly in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, the Scottish Journal of Theology, and Political Theology.
232 pp., 6 x 9
232 pp., 6 x 9
Moral Traditions series
David Cloutier, Darlene Weaver, and Andrea Vicini, SJ