Theology of the Rule of Law
This article draws conceptual, genealogical, and empirical parallels between religion and the rule of law. It presents two related arguments. First, despite the rule of law’s religious roots, the attempts of modern states since the nineteenth century to regulate and stymie religious power are a key part of the rule of law’s history. Second, as a systematically developed theory of internally coherent values about a higher power, the rule of law offers an alternative to theology. Political elites, scholars, and activists invoke this theology of the rule of law as clerics would a religious discourse, for their own salvation or for the salvation of the poor and marginalized.
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