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5 - Cultural Transformations

Christianizing Legal Power

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2021

Laura R. Ford
Affiliation:
Bard College, New York
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Summary

This chapter traces the deveopment of Christianity within the late Roman empire, opening with an imperial decree that institutionalized Christianity as the official law of the empire. We examine the close counterparts to intellectual property that existed in the Roman law of late antiquity. With Christianization, however, we also see how semantic formalities and substantive rationalities in Roman law were culturally transformed. Empirical formalities from Roman law persisted, but these were sacramentalized in accordance with Christian understandings. The emphasis on God's creation within Christianity was combined with Hellenistic Roman traditions celebrating wondrous discoveries. Instruments of legal power from the Roman empire were carried forward, but the transformations that took place with Christianization would mean that these instruments of legal power could be deployed in newly intentional ways. In this chapter, we witness the rise of a distinctive order of obligation, one involving faith in legality. This is an order of obligation that combines a deep confidence in the ordering powers of law with tendencies toward acquisitiveness in matters of property and wealth.

Type
Chapter
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The Intellectual Property of Nations
Sociological and Historical Perspectives on a Modern Legal Institution
, pp. 144 - 175
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Cultural Transformations
  • Laura R. Ford, Bard College, New York
  • Book: The Intellectual Property of Nations
  • Online publication: 04 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108182935.007
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To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Cultural Transformations
  • Laura R. Ford, Bard College, New York
  • Book: The Intellectual Property of Nations
  • Online publication: 04 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108182935.007
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Cultural Transformations
  • Laura R. Ford, Bard College, New York
  • Book: The Intellectual Property of Nations
  • Online publication: 04 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108182935.007
Available formats
×