Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book Note: Ascent of Christian Law by John Anthony McGuckin

I just saw that the newest book by John Anthony McGuckin, Ascent of Christian Law:  Patristic and Byzantine Formulations of a New Civilization, has come out.  McGuckin was one of my mentors in graduate school.  I took a couple classes with him on Byzantine Christianity.  His hobby horses have lately been concerned with Symeon the New Theologian and translating mystical liturgies.  He is especially known for his intellectual biography of Gregory of Nazianzus.  Although in the past decade he has had an explosion in publication output, I was still a little surprised when I discovered a couple years ago that he was researching a book on Byzantine canon law. 

Here is the product description:
This work asks the question: What did Christianity
do to build a civilization? In the present age, law
has been used energetically to micro-manage human
societies, values, and aspirations. But did l aw work that
way in antiquity?

This little book is some form of answer. It is a
book on law and legal thought as it emerged in its
formative ages of the Christian past; it asks what the
ancient writers and theorists did with law and legal
thought. It is part history, part philosophy, and more
than anything else an introduction to issues of law and
legal adjudication in the Patristic and Byzantine eras.
 I have put it in my cart.

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