April 6, 2011

Christian Doctrine and Moral Theory In Locke's "Two Treatises of Government"

Steven Menashi, Georgetown University Law Center, has published Cain as His Brother's Keeper: Property Rights and Christian Ethics in Locke's Two Treatises of Government in volume 42 of the Seton Hall Law Review (2012). Here is the abstract.

Those scholars who regard Locke’s theory of property as a reflection of conventional Christian views pay insufficient attention to the deliberate rhetorical method of his Two Treatises of Government. Close attention to the text reveals profound criticisms of prevailing Christian doctrine. In fact, Locke’s theory of property forms the core of a moral theory that aims to supplant traditional religious teaching with an ethic of human industry and individual autonomy. Understanding Locke’s intention illuminates the foundations of American constitutionalism and of modern liberalism.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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