Theology and Jurisprudence Symposium: Call for Papers

Professor Paul Babie (University of Adelaide), Associate Professor Joshua Neoh (Australian National University), Dr Constance Lee (Central Queensland University) and Dr Alex Deagon (QUT), would like to invite law researchers to participate in a Theology and Jurisprudence Symposium at the Adelaide Law School (ALS) in South Australia on 10 February 2023.

About the Symposium

This symposium will focus on the relationship between theology and jurisprudence. Jurisprudence often functionally promotes an atheistic understanding of “law.” However, foundational to many theories of law is some kind of theology. Natural law, of course, is deeply influenced by its theological articulation through Thomas Aquinas and even the modern “secular” theories of natural law arguably retain vestiges of this influence. The main proponents of Legal Positivism (John Austin and Thomas Hobbes immediately come to mind) often engaged with different aspects of Christian theology. Moreover, this theology is not limited to Christianity; influences vary from Islam and Judaism to Taoism. The appeal of jurisprudence to ground itself in some kind of theology is not surprising given its need for an ontological account. Historically, the dialectic between theology and jurisprudence can be traced as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans; geographically, it can be seen as prevalently as Asia and the Middle East. This Symposium aims to consider jurisprudence from a theological standpoint and critically examine the reliance of diverse theories of law on theological perspectives.

Further Symposium details will be available soon.

Call for Papers

We invite papers that consider the prevailing theological assumptions of diverse legal theories, the different streams of jurisprudence from a theological perspective, how theology often tends to define and undergird theories of law, and papers on any other issues which engage with theology and jurisprudence. Papers should be completed or at a work-in-progress stage suitable for distribution to other participants by February 1 and should not be published or currently under consideration elsewhere. Presenters will have 20 mins to present their paper with time for comments and questions.

Authors of accepted papers will have the opportunity to present them at the Symposium to be held at the Adelaide Law School. Selected papers may also be considered for publication in a Special Issue of the Australian Journal of Law and Religion (co-edited by Dr Alex Deagon).

More information

Please send your paper proposal (up to 200 words) and a brief biography to Dr Constance Lee by email. The deadline for submissions is 1 November 2022.

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