Faith, Force, and Reason follows the evolution of the rule of law from its birth in the marshes of Mesopotamia over 4,000 years ago to its battle against apartheid in South Africa in the last twenty-five years. It is recounted through the voices of emperors and kings, judges and jurists, and popes and philosophers who have thought about what the rule of law is all about and how it works.
All of law’s most momentous achievements – Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis, the Magna Carta, and the American Bill of Rights – and most celebrated advocates – Plato and Aristotle, Cicero, Aquinas, Edward Coke, Hugo Grotius, and John Marshall – are featured. So are law’s darkest moments: the trial of Socrates, the burning and beheading of witches and heretics, the persecution of Jews, and the proclamation of Lex Regia which legalized the dictatorial powers of Roman emperors and medieval kings.
Faith, Force, and Reason challenges readers to think about the lessons of the history they have read. What does the rule of law mean in our own time? What does it demand of us as well as our political leaders?
About the author
David M. Beatty is a Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.