Joel Harrison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter is forthcoming in Nicholas Aroney and Ian Leigh (eds), Christianity and Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018). It discusses the rise of a modern concept of sovereignty as prior to and grounding all law, and associated with an unlimited and indivisible power that prioritises the will of a recognised authority. It then explores how the Christian tradition contains a consistent thread of challenge. This is reflected in three parts: the parallel authority of priest and king, or church and civil authority; the cultivation of multiple sites of authority, at local, regional, and international levels; and the coordinating, encouraging, and cultivating place of ‘monarchical’ rule. Rather than sovereign rule, the Christian tradition has emphasised the inter-twining of duality, plurality, and the one. Importantly, each of these components are understood as pursuing a shared horizon, a tradition, or discerning of right. Indeed, as such, it could be suggested that what is ultimately sovereign is the good itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChristianity and constitutionalism
EditorsNicholas Aroney, Ian Leigh
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018


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