Christianity and Law: The Influence of Christianity on the Development of English Common Law

Stephen Perks

Narrated By: Nathan Conkey
Topics: ,

The English legal system was formed and developed over centuries under the dominating influence of the Christian religion. The ideals and standards of justice that informed our law were derived largely either from the Bible directly or from ancient pre-Christian customs that have been so completely transformed under the influence of the Church that the original pre-Christian practices from which they originate are no longer discernible in the Christianised forms in which we know them. Our very concepts of justice, due process and the rule of law are Christian ideals that we should never have known had the Christian faith not taken root in England and transformed the nation from a pagan into a Christian society.

This book traces the growth of Christian law in England from the conversion of King Æthelberht, through the reigns of the Anglo-Saxon kings up to the Norman conquest, and examines the influence of Christianity on the development of English common law during its early formative period in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The author claims that English common law is today being overturned by legislation passed in Parliament that is based on presuppositions fundamentally alien to our Christian common-law tradition, and that our society is now in transition from a society based on the rule of law, as this has traditionally been understood, to a society ruled by politicians—i.e. a totalitarian society.