Publication Citation

3 (1) IUSTITIA 109 (1975)


In 1971 at Boston University, Harold J. Berman, Story Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, delivered four lectures in the series of Lowell Lectures on Theology. This book is comprised of those lectures with an introduction, postscript, and annotations. One would hope that Berman's analysis of the interaction of law and religion would provide insight into an area which is often neglected by modern jurisprudents. Unfortunately, it does not.

Those who are members of the legal profession as well as those who are not, are aware of the fact that the legal system does not always function properly. In the eyes of many, the legal system has failed to achieve its important goals of resolving conflict and creating channels of cooperation in the society. Berman recognizes the problem, which he calls "the massive loss of confidence in law-not only on the part of law-consumers but also on the part of law-makers and law-distributors" (page 21). He attributes society's loss of faith in law to the fact that law has become ". . . shorn of its mystique and its authority in the grand design of the universe" (page 40). Obviously, Berman's concept of the nature of law is much different than that of the legal positivists of his generation.