Customary Law in the Corpus Iuris Canonici

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Discusses custom as a source of law. After tracing its basis in Roman law, shows its development in both the Eastern and Western Church. Emphasizes its stabilizing influence, evident in the work of Isidore of Seville, Yves of Chartres, and Gratian. The Decretists subordinated custom to law, a position maintained by Gregory IX in his Decretals (1234). The later history illustrates the shift from the "reasonable custom" to the "will of the competent superior." Shows the need of the Church to recover Custom in order to promote missionary activity, ecumenical discourse within the contest of pluralism.


"He conducts his research in a lively way, referring frequently to modern thinking, for instance to the philosophy of B. Lonergan. This scholarly study, filled with brilliant remarks, makes for stimulating reading. . . . brings to life the texts of the Corpus iuris canonici and their medieval commentators. We should be grateful to him for stimulating our interest in a theory that may sometimes appear to be quite abstract, but which was actually born our of flesh, blood, and refined analysis, as he demonstrates so well." -- Albert Gauthier, in Studia Canonica

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