The School of Law and Justice at the University of Southern Queensland will be hosting the Theology and Jurisprudence Symposium at the Toowoomba Campus on Friday 9 February 2024.
This annual symposium focuses on the relationship between theology and jurisprudence. Jurisprudence typically purports to provide a non-theistic account of ‘law’. However, foundational to many theories of law is some kind of theology.
Natural law, of course, is deeply influenced by its theological articulation through Thomas Aquinas and even modern ‘secular’ theories of natural law retain vestiges of this influence. The main proponents of legal positivism (such as Thomas Hobbes and John Austin) often engaged with different aspects of Christian theology.
Moreover, theological influences on legal theory are not limited to Christianity; jurisprudential viewpoints around the world have been shaped by a broad range of theological traditions. The tendency of jurisprudence to ground itself in some kind of theology is not surprising given its need for an ontological foundation for legal authority.
This symposium aims to consider jurisprudence from a variety of theological standpoints and critically examine the reliance of diverse theories of law on theological perspectives.
Call for Papers
We invite papers that consider the prevailing theological assumptions of legal theories; unpack the different streams of jurisprudence from a theological perspective; explore how theology tends to define and undergird theories of law; or consider any other issues which engage both theology and jurisprudence.
Presenters are required to submit written papers (which can be works-in-progress) for distribution to the other symposium participants by 1 February 2024. The finalised papers may be considered for publication in a special journal issue or edited book.
Abstracts of 100–200 words should be submitted by email to Professor Jonathan Crowe (Jonathan.Crowe@usq.edu.au) no later than 1 November 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of November.