Catholic and Protestant approaches to law: convergence or divergence?

Presentation by John Duddington at the Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Annual Conference 2016.

John Duddington, Editor of Law & Justice, the Christian Law Review, gave the following presentation on Catholic and Protestant Approaches to Law: Convergence or Divergence?  at Panel Q of the LARSN Conference in May. He has kindly sent us his abstract and PowerPoint slides, which we reproduce in a slightly-edited version below.


With what is generally considered to be the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation approaching in 2017 this paper sketches some differences and also some similarities between Catholic and Protestant approaches both to law and to thinking about the place of law in society.

The paper will consider such areas as the relationship between church and state, natural law, human rights and the extent to which the law should recognise rights of individual conscience. At the same time, it will look at the extent to which Catholic and Protestant approaches have converged and diverged. Implicit in all this is the extent to which there can be said to be a Catholic and a Protestant approach to law at all. Continue reading