Natural Law, The State & The Gospel – PLCY 701

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

The student is introduced to Biblical principles of government and statesmanship in this course, both in terms of key governmental processes and structures, as well as practices related to statesmanship and statecraft. Concepts such as natural law, inalienable rights, covenant, sphere sovereignty, justice, and church-state relations are incorporated into course content with a particular emphasis on policy implications.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

This is an advanced graduate course that delves deeply into the historical link between conceptions the Natural Law and the design of the State, especially in the works of Medieval and Reformed Christian thinkers. Pre-Christian classical ideas of Natural Law and the State and the modern renunciation of both classical and Christian conceptions of Natural Law will be explored as well.

Course Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

The student will complete five Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 1000 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post two replies of at least 300 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned Module: Week. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least ten scholarly citations and one scriptural citation in APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least three scholarly citations and one scriptural citation in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include all the course readings for the included Natural Law thinkers (required), other primary works by the included Natural Law thinkers, academic journal articles, books published by university presses.

The student will be required to submit 2 book reviews covering the books listed in the Book Review Assignment Instructions. The papers must be at least 10 pages written in current APA format, utilize and cite at least 10 appropriate sources, which should include the course readings and Scripture, to justify the student’s position and/or conclusions, and must, in all other respects, be in accord with the standards of academic writing.

The student will be required to submit a research paper. The paper must be at least 20 pages written in current APA format, utilize and cite at least 20 appropriate sources, which should include the course readings and Scripture, in sufficient quantity to justify the student’s position and/or conclusions, and must, in all other respects, be in accord with the standards of academic writing.  Research Paper Assignment topic: Is the Christian conception of Natural Law indispensable to a coherent moral theory of the State?