Life, Death and the Law Life, Death and the Law: Law and Christian Morals in England and the United States
By Norman St. John-Stevas
2001/12 - Beard Books
1587981130 - Paperback - Reprint - 387 pp.

This scholarly book demonstrates that despite the current diversity in our Anglo-American society, Christian ethics have played a major role in shaping the law with regard to moral issues.

Publisher Comments

Category: Law

Of Interest:

A History of the American Bar

Law: Its Origin, Growth and Function

Legal Lore: Curiosities of Law and Lawyers

Men and Books Famous in the Law

Readings in American Legal History

Readings in Jurisprudence and Legal PhilosophyThe Reasonableness of the Law

The Successful Practice of Law

Many Christians still look to the law to enforce Christian standards of morality and social behavior, particularly with regard to respect for the human person and concern for human rights. This book examines such interplay in a liberal society, namely that of the Anglo-American tradition. After stating some general principles governing the relationship between Christian morality and the law in England and the United States, the author examines several contemporary legal-moral issues: contraception, artificial insemination, human sterilization, homosexuality, suicide, and euthanasia and the role that religion can, and sometimes does, play in their legal interpretation.

From the back cover blurb:

After formulating some general principles governing the relationship between Christian morality and the law in England and the United States, particular controversial legal-moral problems are examined. These important subjects, still at the forefront today, include the control of conception, artificial insemination, human sterilization, homosexuality, suicide and euthanasia. The role that the state and the church should play in the formulation of legal policy is suggested.

Original Reviews:

From the Spectator, March 31, 1961, p. 449
"The great merit of Mr. St. John-Stevas's book lies in the remarkable lucidity with which he organizes a vast amount of material, legal, theological and scientific, all of which he regards as relevant to the proper settlement of the issues he discusses... he is not merely learned about Catholic teaching, he is totally clear and honest in its exposition."

From the Times (London) Literary Supplement, March 24, 1961, p. 182
"This is a scholarly and temperate book, admirably documented, which provides a necessary guide not only to new attitudes to the moral law and to the legislation which reflects them but also to the christian tradition in its work of judgment."

From the New Statesman, Vol. 61, p. 480, March 24, 1961
"In spite of the forest of details, a very high standard of lucidity is maintained. The book will serve as a vade mecum for anyone of progressive views anxious to go into battle against the existing law.

Norman St. John-Stevas was born in 1929. He was a Member of Parliament for Chelmsford from 1964 to 1987. He was the leader of the House of Commons from 1979 to 1981. Among other involvements, he served as Minister of State for the Arts and as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In 1995, he became Lord St. John of Fawsley.

Introduction 9
1. Law and Morals 13
2. The Control of Conception 50
3. Artificial Human Insemination 116
4. Human Sterilization 160
5.  Homosexuality 198
6.  Suicide 232
7. Euthanasia 262
I. Birth Control Legislation in American States 281
II. Regulations Governing the Providing of Seminal Fluid for Artificial Human Insemination -- New York 285
III. The Medico-Legal Aspects of Artificial Insemination 287
IV. Summary of Recommendations of Feversham Committee on Artificial Insemination 290
V. Sterilizations Reported in the U.S.A. 291
VI. Sterilizations Reported in the U.S.A. per 100,000 population (1957)q 293
VII Years in which Sterilization Statutes First Passed in the U.S.A. 294
VIII. Types of State Sterilization Statutes in the U.S.A. 295
IX. Summary of United States Sterilization Statutes 296
X. Laws of the States of the United States Punishing Homosexual Offences 310
XI. Laws of the  United Kingdom Punishing Homosexual Offences 325
XII. The Law of the European Countries Concerning Homosexual Offences 328
XIII. Proposals of the Maerican Law Institute on Homosexual Offences 333
XIV. Proposed Bill to Legalize Euthanasia 336
XV. Select Bibliography 340
XVI. Table of Cases 361
Index 367

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