Sunday, May 7, 2023

A sermon on the law: the jurisprudence of love

Jeffrey R. Baker (Pepperdine), A sermon on the law: the jurisprudence of love, 15 Washington U. Juris. Rev. 109 (2023):

This essay, in the form of a sermon for lawyers and legislators, articulates a theological, progressive and liberating jurisprudence of love. This jurisprudence seeks the empowerment of all people and promotes a strong political preference for the poor and marginalized. Rooted in Scripture, this critical rule measures law and policy in the United States against fundamental human dignity. This is an old and radical message for contemporary law and policy. This theory of love is a critique of right-wing reactionary fundamentalism. It condemns emerging Christian nationalism, affirms inclusive democracy, provides a systemic assessment for politics and politics, and charts a path toward beloved community. Drawing on doctrines that have underpinned the abolition, universal suffrage, peace, and civil rights movements, the homiletic form accelerates positive normative jurisprudence with accessible rhetoric that eschews partisan academic slogans.

Leaning on the theologies of black and Latin American liberation; feminist, indigenous and Asian theologies; natural law jurisprudence; critical theories; and Anglican, Catholic, Evangelical, and Orthodox sources, the essay aims to reconcile antagonists with a compelling and universal commitment to restoration and justice by tracing the imperative legal and political implications of love.

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