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postgraduate thesis: The Christian dimension of the origin of constitutionalism: St. Augestine, Thomas Aquinas, RichardHooker and John Locke

TitleThe Christian dimension of the origin of constitutionalism: St. Augestine, Thomas Aquinas, RichardHooker and John Locke
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Abstract
 In 2011, many countries experienced great travail in the process of constituting a new order. Of different religious backgrounds, these countries have been seeking to establish a constitutional order to assure greater liberty and higher estimation of human rights. However, the idea of constitutionalism is a legal concept that has its origins in Christianity. For states of non-Christian backgrounds to embrace constitutionalism, more than simple transplantation is needed. This research looks at the Christian legal tradition that incubated the idea of constitutionalism. It aims to provide a timely reference for the non-Christian countries to communicate with their local legal traditions when constructing the constitutional order during this current period of political change. The research demonstrates an incubation process in which Christianity has played a major part in generating constitutionalism. It traces the constitutional thinking of St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Richard Hooker and John Locke, and presents how their legal thoughts were intertwined together with the Christian faith. The research shows the interlocking relationships among the four thinkers, with each of them establishing their constitutional ideas on those of the one before him. St. Augustine formed the embryo of the process. He introduced the idea of two cities, which established a concept of higher justice above all human authorities. He also redefined the concept of people in order to explain the relations among God, people and the state. Thomas Aquinas applied the higher justice concept to medieval order and developed a mixed constitutional polity supported by bible verses. He defined law with rationality, which is God’s command. Richard Hooker amended Aquinas’ general theory of law and grounded the popular sovereignty on reasonable men exercising their consent. John Locke finally rendered the sovereignty to independent individuals; thence, individual human rights must be guarded against any interventions from public authority. The protection of individuals is the paramount value that identifies constitutionalism. Therefore, the author argues that Christianity is one of the major dimensions that enabled the birth of constitutionalism.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectConstitutional law - Religious aspects - Christianity.
Dept/ProgramLaw

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Wenting.-
dc.contributor.author刘雯婷.-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.description.abstract In 2011, many countries experienced great travail in the process of constituting a new order. Of different religious backgrounds, these countries have been seeking to establish a constitutional order to assure greater liberty and higher estimation of human rights. However, the idea of constitutionalism is a legal concept that has its origins in Christianity. For states of non-Christian backgrounds to embrace constitutionalism, more than simple transplantation is needed. This research looks at the Christian legal tradition that incubated the idea of constitutionalism. It aims to provide a timely reference for the non-Christian countries to communicate with their local legal traditions when constructing the constitutional order during this current period of political change. The research demonstrates an incubation process in which Christianity has played a major part in generating constitutionalism. It traces the constitutional thinking of St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Richard Hooker and John Locke, and presents how their legal thoughts were intertwined together with the Christian faith. The research shows the interlocking relationships among the four thinkers, with each of them establishing their constitutional ideas on those of the one before him. St. Augustine formed the embryo of the process. He introduced the idea of two cities, which established a concept of higher justice above all human authorities. He also redefined the concept of people in order to explain the relations among God, people and the state. Thomas Aquinas applied the higher justice concept to medieval order and developed a mixed constitutional polity supported by bible verses. He defined law with rationality, which is God’s command. Richard Hooker amended Aquinas’ general theory of law and grounded the popular sovereignty on reasonable men exercising their consent. John Locke finally rendered the sovereignty to independent individuals; thence, individual human rights must be guarded against any interventions from public authority. The protection of individuals is the paramount value that identifies constitutionalism. Therefore, the author argues that Christianity is one of the major dimensions that enabled the birth of constitutionalism.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B4786977X-
dc.subject.lcshConstitutional law - Religious aspects - Christianity.-
dc.titleThe Christian dimension of the origin of constitutionalism: St. Augestine, Thomas Aquinas, RichardHooker and John Locke-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4786977-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelmaster's-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLaw-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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