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The Second DisestablishmentChurch and State in Nineteenth-Century America$
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Steven Green

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195399677

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399677.001.0001

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Legal Christianity Conceived

Legal Christianity Conceived

Chapter:
(p.149) 5 Legal Christianity Conceived
Source:
The Second Disestablishment
Author(s):

Steven K. Green (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399677.003.0005

This begins a three-chapter discussion of legal disestablishment, of the development and decline of the maxim that Christianity formed part of the common law. It traces the origins of the maxim in higher-law notions, British common law, and Puritan legal codes. It discusses the influence of jurists William Blackstone, Joseph Story, and James Kent and the maxim’s early application in blasphemy and Sunday law cases. The chapter argues that the maxim influenced early legal attitudes toward understandings of disestablishment.

Keywords:   higher law, common law, Christian nation, Puritan, William Blackstone, Joseph Story, James Kent, blasphemy, Sunday law

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