Law and Religion in a Secular Age seeks to restore the connection between spirituality and justice, religion and law, theology and jurisprudence, and natural law and positive law by building a new bridge suitable for pluralistic societies in the secular age. The author argues for a multidimensional view of reality that includes legal, political, moral, and spiritual dimensions of human nature and society. Each of these dimensions of life needs to recognize the existence, influence, and function of the others, which act as a filter or check on the excesses of each other. This multidimensionality of reality clarifies why no legal theory can fully account for law from the legal dimension alone, just as no moral theory makes perfect sense of morality from the moral dimension—and, for that matter, nothing in physics can fully interpret the physical dimension of reality. The premises of a legal system cannot be fully explained by the legal dimension alone because the fundamental conditions and qualities of justice, freedom, and dignity touch all the dimensions of reality in which the human person acts, including the moral and the spiritual, not just the legal. Building on this multidimensional theory of reality, the author explores the core differences and the essential interconnections between law, morality, religion, and spirituality and some of the legal implications of these connections.
Rafael Domingo reminds readers of the vital role of religion in shaping the conceptual framework of Western legal systems, underscores the spirit of Christianity that inspired legal institutions, principles, and values, and recalls the contributions of specific Christian jurists as central figures for the development of justice in society.
Law and Religion in a Secular Age aims to be a valuable antidote against the dominant legal positivism that has cornered public morality, the defiant secularism that has marginalized religion, and any other legal doctrine that diminishes the spiritual dimension of law and justice.
"These essays, born of Rafael Domingo’s long reflection on religion and society, are a precious contribution to the study of the cultural conditions required for the maintenance of a healthy pluralistic polity. They are both an education on liberalism’s debt to religion and a caution against neglecting the seedbeds of civic virtue."~Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor emerita, Harvard University
"Domingo’s scholarship is amazing and daunting! He displays clever reasoning alongside deep and long historical knowledge of particular figures and periods in history, alongside philosophical and theological knowledge. Through reason and historical examples Domingo makes the case that the law has to at least make room for/accommodate/acknowledge human beings’ longing for and relationship with the divine. I haven’t read another current scholar making these arguments."~Helen Alvaré, author of Religious Freedom after the Sexual Revolution: A Catholic Guide
"The world of scholarship in law and religion is once again much indebted to Rafael Domingo, who in this excellent volume provides such rich, wise, and thought-provoking insights into the vital role which Christianity and its disciples have played and continue to play in the molding of laws and legal thinking across a wide range of important contexts, pressure-points, and issues."~Norman Doe, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University
"In this wide-ranging and thought-provoking work, Professor Domingo demonstrates the creative potential of taking a theocentric approach to law. He presents us with an important account of law’s place in a multidimensional conception of reality which requires us to pay attention to the spirituality of law rooted in theological virtues of love, communion and gift. This leads him to argue powerfully against contemporary reductionist trends in the theory of religious liberty and to offer new and illuminating perspectives on natural law theory, international law and canon law. Finally, and unusually, he shows how such an approach towards law has come to be embodied in the life and work of Christian legal scholars past and present. This work will intrigue and inspire scholars of law and religion for many years to come."~Julian Rivers, University of Bristol Law School
"Rafael Domingo is a treasure, and out of his vast storehouse of knowledge he has given us a rich and complex argument about the development of the Western legal tradition, its theological underpinnings, and the need to restore the dialogue between theology and law. In part a withering critique of legal positivism, in part a sustained case for an enriched conception of the role of religion and religious liberty in the public sphere, in part an introduction to the whole broad sweep of Catholic and Western legal theory, this is a powerful, multifaceted and deeply learned book."~Adrian Vermule, Harvard Law School