Natural Law

Burning Bushes, Smoking Mountains, and the Law

By |2019-08-19T22:16:59-05:00August 19th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Civil Society, Education, History, Natural Law, Senior Contributors, Western Odyssey Series|

While much has been made of the “Ten Commandments” in recent history, men for centuries have accepted these commandments as deeply rooted in the order of the universe and of creation—as an overt expression of the Natural Law. They are one of the ways God has continued to maintain His love for His people. [...]

Thomas More on Conscience, Courage, & the Comedy of Politics

By |2019-06-13T12:38:35-05:00December 29th, 2018|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Civil Society, England, History, Natural Law, Philosophy, Politics, Thomas More, Wisdom|

As the gulf between classical and postmodern notions of conscience and government grows ever wider and their clashes more explosive, it is high time for the jury to give renewed attention to the nuances of Thomas More’s understanding of the apparently competing, but ultimately harmonious, demands of divine, natural, and human law… In August of 1534 Margaret [...]

The Embodied Person as Gift

By |2018-12-06T08:29:35-05:00December 5th, 2018|Categories: Christian Humanism, Communio, Culture, David L. Schindler, Natural Law|

The body in its physical structure as such bears a vision of reality: it is an anticipatory sign, and already an expression, of the order of love or gift that most deeply characterizes the meaning of the person and indeed, via an adequately conceived analogy, the meaning of all creaturely being. This is the burden [...]

When Men Became Human: Christopher Dawson’s 500 BC

By |2017-10-28T23:33:05-05:00August 30th, 2017|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christopher Dawson, History, Natural Law, Philosophy|

Though Christopher Dawson remained unsure why the Natural Law developed, he did not hesitate to celebrate it. He remained firmly convinced that the development of Natural Law did not randomly emerge from individual genius, but rather believed that individual genius arose out of the various traditions and norms of each people… As a historian [...]

“Meeting of Minds”: Cleopatra, Aquinas, Paine, & Teddy Roosevelt

By |2019-07-03T09:53:42-05:00June 21st, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Audio/Video, Natural Law, St. Thomas Aquinas|

Editor's Note: Join host Steve Allen as he welcomes Cleopatra, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Paine, and Theodore Roosevelt to a discussion of questions of enduring significance. Topics include the merits and evils of imperialism, the American Revolution, the possibility of nobility in war, certitude of religious doctrine, and the best form of government. Hear Cleopatra and [...]

Edmund Burke on Constitutions & Natural Law

By |2019-06-11T16:10:20-05:00September 20th, 2016|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Edmund Burke series by Bradley Birzer, Featured, John Locke, Natural Law, Natural Rights Tradition|

The real goal of political society, Edmund Burke claimed in his arguments against the French Revolutionaries, is not to create new laws or new rules, but “to secure the religion, laws, and liberties, that had been long possessed.” If one creates a law out of theory, he will explain much later in his Reflections on [...]

“Republican Government” According to John Adams

By |2019-07-03T14:43:01-05:00August 31st, 2016|Categories: American Republic, Featured, Great Books, History, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Adams, John Locke, Liberty, Natural Law, Philosophy, Political Science Reviewer, Republicanism|

As elaborated thus far, natural law teaches that legitimate government is circumscribed by liberty in a dual sense: It derives from the consent of equally free individuals, and it aims at securing the natural rights which comprise the independence of the individuals. But while natural law circumscribes legitimate government, it does not indicate the [...]

What John Locke Really Said

By |2019-08-22T15:49:44-05:00May 30th, 2016|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, John Locke, Natural Law, Willmoore Kendall|

By any reasonable standard of measurement, Willmoore Kendall would have to be included in a list of the most important political scientists of the post-World War II era. Moreover, as regards the American political tradition, it is easily argued that Kendall is the most original, innovative, and challenging interpreter of any period. I believe these [...]

The Role of Natural Law in the Constitution

By |2019-06-06T11:56:12-05:00March 4th, 2015|Categories: Constitution, Featured, Natural Law, Supreme Court|

Natural law seems an unlikely topic for extensive television coverage, nor would one expect United States senators to develop high anxiety over the subject. Yet the confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas brought both of those improbable events to pass. Justice Thomas and Senator Joseph Biden grappled repeatedly with the concept of natural law [...]

C.S. Lewis and the Hope of the Natural Law: A Brief Remembrance

By |2016-08-03T10:36:34-05:00February 13th, 2015|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christendom, Christianity, Natural Law|

During England’s darkest days of World War II, hope emerged from an unlikely source. An Oxford don–a professor of English literature, who would later be best known for a seven-part children’s fantasy series–gave frequent public addresses to the English people. Their purpose was to bolster English spirits. In late February, 1943, he devoted three [...]

America Divided: Positive vs. Natural Law

By |2019-04-25T11:23:30-05:00January 9th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, Featured, Natural Law, Rights|Tags: |

America is divided, with a line that is drawn between two ideological camps. Each of these two camps perceives America radically different from the other. On the one side, there are those who see America built upon certain unchanging principles that are connected to God. That is, these people believe man to be created [...]

Natural Law at the Dinner Table

By |2019-06-06T12:17:24-05:00September 17th, 2013|Categories: Daniel McInerny, Natural Law|

Would that I had received the education of my children! Last night at dinner our family enjoyed an unusually rich conversation prompted by a question that had arisen during my wife’s homeschooling history lesson with our seventh-grade son. In recent days these two have been working through the major thinkers of the Enlightenment using [...]

The Road to Same-Sex Marriage was Paved by Rousseau

By |2014-01-12T16:45:17-05:00July 24th, 2013|Categories: Homosexual Unions, Natural Law|Tags: |

There is more to same-sex marriage than politics. It only becomes plausible if you accept certain assumptions about how to distinguish what is natural from what is unnatural and what is right from what is wrong. The intellectual origins of the debate stretch all the way back to the Greeks, but radical changes in [...]

The Importance of Marcus Tullius Cicero

By |2019-04-09T15:37:11-05:00February 25th, 2013|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Classical Education, Classical Learning, Classics, Featured, Liberal Learning, Natural Law|

How do I define the Natural Law? Taking my cue from Cicero—especially from On the Republic, On Duties, and On the Laws—I can state that Natural Law theory argues that there is a supreme being who holds everything together through his love or his force or his will or whatever it might be that [...]