Law, Family, and the Person

Law, Family, and the Person

JPI 668/868
3 Credits

This course closely examines the treatment under civil law of marriage, family, and the person, as well as the related issues of sexual difference, procreation, and biotechnology. The course will be divided into three parts. The first part will offer a philosophical and historical context by examining a number of ancient, modern, and post-modern thinkers, as well as a few legal cases and Church documents, in relation to the nature of law, the questions of natural law, law and the body, and so forth. The second part of the course will draw on this philosophical/anthropological foundation to examine the developing treatment of marriage and sexuality under the law, as present in important judicial opinions and other legal materials. Topics will include the so-called “fundamental right” to marriage, contraception, the “right to privacy” in the area of sexuality, “gay adoption,” and “same-sex marriage.” The third part of the course, also focusing on court cases and other legal materials, will address the treatment of the person in the developing context of biotechnology. Topics will include abortion, surrogate motherhood, artificial “reproduction,” cloning, and end-of-life issues.

Selected Texts


David S. Crawford portrait

David S. Crawford

Associate Professor of Moral Theology and Family Law

Dr. Crawford’s teaching spans the areas of moral theology and philosophical ethics, the theological and philosophical anthropology of marriage and family, and legal and political philosophy. His publications address human action, natural law, homosexuality, “gender identity,” and the anthropological implications of modern civil law.

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