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St. John's Law Review

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religious lawyers, religion and the law, legal ethics, law and morality, Religious Lawyering Movement


If there is a religious way to read, is there a religious way to be a lawyer? More and more lawyers, judges and scholars are answering yes to that question. We heard earlier from Cardinal Bevilacqua about the history of the Religious Lawyering Movement, which blossomed in the 1990s. There was writing about the law and religion before that time." We can date religious lawyering as a body of work in mainstream legal literature, as Cardinal Bevilacqua did, to the work of Professor Thomas Shaffer in the 1980s.Why did this movement take off in the 1990s? Again, what accounts for the growth of the Religious Lawyering Movement? A renewed interest in religion across society as a whole is one reason. Related to that, lawyers, like others, are engaged in a search for meaning in their work. In the past, many lawyers would have found this meaning in professionalism, but during today's crisis of professionalism, lawyers are unable to find a satisfactory way to reconcile their personal aspirations with what they consider to be the harsh realities of the marketplace.