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16 - A Reformed Liberalism: Michael McConnell’s Contributions to Christian Jurisprudence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2019

Daniel L. Dreisbach
Affiliation:
American University, Washington DC
Mark David Hall
Affiliation:
George Fox University
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Summary

Michael McConnell is one of the most influential constitutional scholars of the past thirty years. He has written a great deal about religious liberty, but relatively little about how his own religious beliefs may relate to his constitutional jurisprudence. This chapter is the first to explore the connection between McConnell’s religious views and scholarship. The chapter engages with a short piece by McConnell that sketches the outlines of a “reformed liberalism.” McConnell argued that reformed Christian theology is compatible with the classical liberalism that animated the framing of the U.S. Constitution. Though he did not develop this account into a full-blown theory, McConnell’s view deserves to be considered alongside others, whether they are liberal theories that downplay the importance of religion, or Christian political theologies that reject liberalism. McConnell’s view also illuminates his scholarship on religious liberty, religion in public discourse, and judicial humility.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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