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Law and Revolution, II: The Impact of the Protestant Reformations on the Western Legal Tradition Paperback – October 30, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0674022300 ISBN-10: 0674022300

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674022300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674022300
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A unique contribution to the history of the Western legal tradition. Harold Berman is a master at integrating detail with larger themes, presenting the material in a way that the point is never lost. A great deal will be almost entirely new to English-speaking readers. The treatment of the development of jurisprudence within Protestant Germany is especially valuable. The role of 'revolutions' in shaping but still preserving the essence of the Western legal tradition is one that Berman has made his own. This is a substantial achievement. (R. H. Helmholz, University of Chicago Law School)

A wonderfully stimulating work that highlights a very important aspect of the development of European law that has so far been largely neglected. Well written and lucidly presented, it maintains a good balance between the general and the specific, and is based throughout on original research of sources that are neither easily accessible nor easy to interpret. With this book, Harold Berman offers another distinguished contribution to legal scholarship. (Reinhard Zimmerman, Max Planck Institute, Hamburg)

For those interested in the ongoing debates about the social consequences of the Protestant Reformation for subsequent Western history, this book of great learning is a welcome contribution to the literature. [It] has also been a much anticipated book, coming now twenty years after Harold Berman's path-breaking first installment, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition. In the present volume, Berman continues his provocative analysis of theological and ecclesiastical roots of the legal tradition that has been developing in the West for nearly a millennium, but that he fears is presently in crisis...This second volume of Law and Revolution is a work of vast erudition that few other scholars would be capable of producing. The synthesis of legal and theological scholarship, as well as the integration of intellectual, ecclesiastical, and political developments, are crucial to the claims of this book and are impressive throughout. The author's claims are persuasively argued and one can confidently conclude that scholars working on related issues in the future cannot safely ignore his conclusions. (David VanDrunen Westminster Theological Journal 2005-05-01)

Berman is at his best when illustrating the effect that a judicious study of law has on our appreciation of Western history. His meticulous and impassioned parsing of the theological and philosophical roots of the German legal academy or of the English adversarial system is instructive to a degree surpassed only by his previous work in Law and Revolution. His prescient call for an 'integrative jurisprudence' will surely be heeded, and is arguably already the norm in legal practice, though perhaps not in legal theory. (Victor M. Mũniz-Fraticelli Foundations of Political Theory 2004-11-12)

The present volume...will be of interest mainly to the general reader seriously concerned about the moral direction of our troubled time. For such a reader there is much to learn and ponder in this compendious book. Berman gives close attention to the efforts of Lutheran theologians, jurists, and politicians to reconcile divine law and natural law, the former revealed in Scripture, the latter accessed by reason. (Gerald Strauss Law and History Review 2005-09-01)

It is not necessary to share Berman's belief in order to appreciate much in this book. (Michael D. Gordon American Historical Review 2005-06-01)

Berman repeatedly [shows] the interrelationship between history, religion, and law. (Henry Cohen The Federal Lawyer 2004-07-01)

A careful reading of this relevant volume, Law and Revolution II, provides much food for thought. The author, Harold J. Berman, examines the present dilemma by looking at the past...This volume and its valuable footnotes contain a wealth of information...This volume is relevant for today. (Byron Snapp The Chalcedon Foundation)

In the second volume of his magnum opus, Harold Berman intends to rescue from neglect Lutheran legal teachings, and does so by expanding his attention beyond Luther to include the works of the humanist theologian Philip Melanchthon, and the lesser-known Lutheran jurists, Johann Apel, Konrad Lagus, and Johann Oldendorp. His close reading of these jurists makes the most significant contribution to the study of early modern continental legal philosophy and its possible ramifications...Not only Europeans, but heirs of legal institutions and ways of thinking about states, rights, and religion that flowed from the European experience, need to heed the call to a more self-conscious and deliberate questioning of whether a narrative that traces the law's liberating trajectory from confessionalism and beyond nationalism is persuasive at all. Berman...provides provocative and rewarding investigations of where and how our current dilemmas with that narrative began. (A. G. rieber Law and Social Inquiry)

Taken together, Berman's two volumes offer a sweeping panorama of the rise of modern law in the West, from its medieval beginnings to the start of the eighteenth century. In scope, learning, and ambition there is nothing else quite like them, and they constitute one of the deepest contributions to scholarship to have emerged from the legal academy in decades. In calling attention to these neglected episodes in the history of Western law, Berman has raised a host of difficult questions for historical and philosophical investigation, and one can only hope that others will follow his footsteps and explore the territory he has charted. (William B. Ewald Constitutional Commentary)

Review

A unique contribution to the history of the Western legal tradition. Harold Berman is a master at integrating detail with larger themes, presenting the material in a way that the point is never lost. A great deal will be almost entirely new to English-speaking readers. The treatment of the development of jurisprudence within Protestant Germany is especially valuable. The role of 'revolutions' in shaping but still preserving the essence of the Western legal tradition is one that Berman has made his own. This is a substantial achievement. (R. H. Helmholz, University of Chicago Law School) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John M. Balouziyeh on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a seminal books that continues in the tradition of the first volume of Law and Revolution. As the first volume did with the Catholic Church and the papal revolution, this second volume explores the Protestant Reformation of Lutheran Germany and Calvinist England and its influence in the formation of the Western legal system. The following is a brief overview of the main themes explored in the book.

1. Introduction
In his preface, Berman alludes to the first volume of Law and Revolution, which argued that "the Western legal tradition was formed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries under the impact of the Papal Revolution, which liberated the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church from control by emperors, kings, and feudal lords, and resulted in the creation of the first modern Western legal system, the Roman Catholic canon law" (p. ix). In the present volume, Berman explores the impact of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and in England on the Western legal tradition.

2. The Papal Revolution
The Western legal tradition originated in the efforts of Pope Gregory VII (ca. 1030-85) to liberate the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church from the control of temporal rulers and to subject them to the authority of the Church. This revolution, which came to be called the Papal Revolution or the Investiture Contest, spanned from 1075 to 1122. Gregory VII sought to establish Rome's unrivaled authority over both secular and rulers and the clergy and the laymen. In the wars that followed, the Roman Catholic Church emerged as the first modern state with a body of law titled A Concordance of Discordant Canons. In this new state, the ecclesiastical courts resolved disputes and the Church's canon laws ordered society.

3.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Johnson on August 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a fitting capstone to Berman's approach to Western law. At once more technically successful than his original work, while less universal in scope, it nevertheless exposes the unexamined rationales of policies and laws in effect today. Scholars may easily combine Berman's insights with those of J.G.A. Pocock to examine English, and thus American, legal culture and poltics; likewise, they may examine continental data in light of the revolution described by Berman to examine the rise of Marxism, and Communist views of the place of the state in relation to the individual. Harold J. Berman's scholarship is indispensable to the study of jurisprudence.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Graf on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The two Law and Revolution books are indispensable to the list of must-reads for becoming truly educated, taking oneself beyond the usual litany of state-supportive propaganda found in textbooks and standard-issue academic output.

Berman is no ideologue, but he has great respect for the power of ideas. His agenda is to provide us with his best take on what he has found out about legal history on the basis of a tremendous grasp of the relevant historical material he has acquired. He also wants us to ask questions about where the Western Legal Tradition has come from and where it is going.

The level of depth, detail, clarity, and organization of this book is astounding. The author was a true teacher and clear researcher and thinker, and his deep knowledge of and reference to the original sources is impressive. His conclusions are not merely things he wanted to say anyway; they are rather thoroughly informed by the research and patterns presented and documented; he does not merely state his case; in good legal form, he makes his case.

The biggest takeaway for me is the thesis that the German and English revolutions coincided with comprehensive changes to legal philosophies, legal science, and substantive and procedural law (though all ultimately staying within the broad Western Legal Tradition) and that many of these changes were in harmony with the theological doctrines of the major Protestant reformations of the period, if not literally authored by some of their leaders, especially in the German case.

In contrast to Marxian and Weberian perspectives, religious changes begat legal changes, which begat, ultimately economic development to the extent that the legal changes enabled greater predictability and security of property and investments.
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