DeGirolami, “The Punishment Jurist”

I have a new paper, which is a chapter contribution for what will be a conceptual history of several foundational writings in criminal law and punishment.  It’s called, The Punishment Jurist, and deals with the thought of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, a judge of the Victorian period.  The essay is more about criminal punishment than about law and religion, but there is a good bit about the latter as well.

In his major work of scholarship — the History of the Criminal Law of England (1883) — Stephen discusses (at the end of Volume II) the issue of “offenses against religion.”  And one of the matters he takes up is the crime of witchcraft.  I discuss his views of witchcraft and other offenses against religion to rebut the oft-heard and erroneous claim that Stephen believed the realms of morality and criminality to be co-extensive (notwithstanding his belief in the important connections between the two, and in turn between morality and religion), and the claim that Stephen is a punishment consequentialist full stop.

Comments are welcome.

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