Essay: Barry scholar James Pennell responds to my essay on church autonomy

James Pennell, a Barry Scholar at the University of Oxford, penned a response to my latest article for the Canopy Forum. He agrees that Christians should resist the Lockean image of religious associations, which views churches as mere loci for voluntarily consenting individuals.

James, however, argues that courts need not affirm the truth of the opposing Christian position: that churches are members of the saving, and invisible, Body of Christ. Courts merely need to acknowledge that this theological position is normatively important for church-autonomy claimants.

Read James’ Canopy Forum article here.

But if Christians embrace David’s call for a renaissance in corpus mysticum conceptions of the Church, there remain several thorny questions for an American legal regime that portends to agnosticism concerning the truth of such religiously-motivated claims.

J. Pennell

‘Religious Corporations and the Law’

My piece on the corpus mysticum and church autonomy began the Canopy Forum’s latest essay series, entitled ‘Religious Corporations and the Law’.

Other thought-provoking pieces — apart from James’ excellent contribution — include one on corporate social responsibility and corporate religious freedom, written by Elizabeth Sepper and James D. Nelson. (I engage with Nelson’s work in chapter 3 of my book.)

Check out the series collection here.

Photo by Jane D. on

Published by Edward A. David

Responsible business. Law and religion. Ethics in public life.

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