A Center for the Retrieval of Christian Wisdom

Fall 2021 Bi-Annual Carolinas Regional Convivium

Theology and Law: A Reformed Catholic Jurisprudence

October 15-16th, 2021

The Davenant Institute invites you to our first fall rendition of our now bi-annual Carolinas Regional Convivium Irenicum! Please join us for a Friday night and Saturday of fellowship, friendship, and conversation renewing Christian wisdom for the church. 

See details below about our Keynote Speaker and the line up of presentations.

Cost: $100 overnight stay ($60 student rate)

$15 Friday night only ($10 student rate)

$25 Saturday only ($15 student rate)

Our Keynote Speaker:

Dr. C. Scott Pryor “The Virtues and Vices of Private Property”

Dr. Pryor (J.D., University of Wisconsin; M.A., Reformed Theological Seminary) is a Professor of Law at Campbell University in Raleigh NC, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Davenant Institute. He previously served on the faculty at Regent University School of Law from 1998-2015. He has been a visiting professor at Handong International School of Law in Pohang, South Korea and has taught and researched as a Fulbright Scholar in Jodhpur and Delhi, India. He has written extensively on the relationship of the Christian faith to the law of contracts, the influence of Puritanism on contract law, bankruptcy law, Indian contract law, natural law, and human rights.

Announcing: The Lineup of Presentations!

Friday:
7:30-8:45 PM: Timon Cline (Law Clerk, Office of New Jersey Attorney General), “A Protestant Integralism? Lessons from Puritan New England”

Saturday:
9:00-10:15 AM: Eric G. Enlow (Dean, Handong University Law School), “Calvin on Divine Love and Human Litigation”

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM: C. Scott Pryor (Professor of Law, Campbell University), “The Virtues and Vices of Private Property”

1:15-2:30 PM: John Ehrett (Counsel, Office of US Senator Josh Hawley), “Originalism and Judicial Restraint: Lessons from the Lutheran Reformation”

2:45-4:00 PM: Bradford Littlejohn (President, the Davenant Institute), “21 Disputed Theses on the Subject of Religious Liberty”

On The Theme of “Theology and Law”:

“Of Law there can be no less acknowledged, than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world: all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power, both Angels and men and creatures of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy.”

So wrote the great Protestant theologian and political philosopher Richard Hooker in 1593, but such sentiments are unimaginable today. Nowadays, we are apt to think of the practice of law as a dry and dusty clerical pursuit, if indeed we do not look askance at it as a shady trade dedicated to manipulating technicalities for private gain. Such attitudes were common enough in Hooker’s day too, however, and many lawyers deserved such scorn. Still, this did not keep Hooker from realizing that there was something sublime in even the most menial laws: by reducing chaos to regularity, plurality to unity, and self-interest to moral obligation, law really did carry within it the echo of God’s voice. 

In this conviction, Protestant thinkers like Hooker carried on a rich medieval tradition of reflection on the interplay of divine law, natural law, and human law. But they added to it two distinctively Protestant elements: first, a disciplined reflection on the Decalogue as a summation of moral order and of the task of human civil law; second, a new regard for the role of the laity, acting as Christian magistrates and Christian citizens, in enacting laws to reform church and society. Through their creative efforts, a rich harvest of Protestant jurisprudence was reaped over the centuries that followed, including the great constitutional traditions of Britain and the United States. 

As Christians called to seek the peace of our cities in a time of growing confusion over the rule of law and the rights of individuals, it is time for us to return to the sources, seeking wisdom from the Christian past about the the purpose and limits of law, its theological foundations in God’s Word and God’s world, and the contributions of Christian jurists through the centuries.

Whether you’re a practicing lawyer, a theologian, or have no expertise in either and just want to grow in Christian wisdom, join us in October as we explore this theme together!

Schedule:

Event runs 5:30 PM Friday October 15th to 4:00 PM Saturday October 16th

Cost:

$100 overnight stay ($60 student rate)

$15 Friday night only ($10 student rate)

$25 Saturday only ($15 student rate)

If you have any questions please submit them here. In order to keep costs at a reasonable rate and to encourage the atmosphere of fellowship for which our Convivia are most fondly remembered we ask for your help with meal preparation and clean-up. A sign-up sheet will be passed around at the event.  The information packet (to be sent nearer the event) will include a detailed schedule, directions to Davenant House, etc.

In addition to our keynote speaker, the Fall 2021 Carolinas Regional Convivium Irenicum schedule will include the presentation of papers, Q&A, and worship, as well as meals on site.