[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

                                                                                                April 12, 2002



Pennington to Speak on Canon Law and the Birth of Democratic Principles


Kenneth Pennington, the Kelly-Quinn Professor of Ecclesiastical and Legal History at Catholic University, will deliver a lecture at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 23, in Hannan Hall’s Herzfeld Auditorium.


The lecture, entitled “The Birth of Democratic Principles in Medieval Canon Law,” will describe the ways medieval canon law gave birth to modern democracy.


The Middle Ages have not been known as a great age of democracy, he says, but nevertheless, during the period from 1100 to 1700 A.D., medieval canonists developed a jurisprudence that established many of the principles currently thought of as basic in a democratic society. These jurists created a doctrine of individual rights, fashioned a concept of consent that they applied to individuals, institutions and society, and established the principles of due process of law. 


Professor Pennington is the author of 12 books and more than 70 scholarly articles in the areas of ancient, medieval and early modern legal history; the history of constitutional thought; political theory; church history; history of universities; and paleography. 


The School of Religious Studies is sponsoring the lecture, which is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.


For more information, contact Scott Bennett at 703-509-7212.





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Revised: Feb. 18, 2002

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The Catholic University of America,
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