Philip R. WoodThe Fall of the Priests and the Rise of the Lawyers
Hart Publishing, 288 pp.
This fast-paced, inspiring and original work proposes that, if religions fade, then secular law provides a much more comprehensive moral regime to govern our lives. Backed by potent and haunting images, it argues that the rule of law is the one universal framework that everyone believes in and that the law is now the most important ideology we have for our survival. The author explores the decline of religions and the huge growth of law and makes predictions for the future of law and lawyers. The book maintains that even though societies may decide they can do without religions, they cannot do without law. The book helpfully summarises both the teachings of all the main religions and the central tenets of the law – governing everything from human relationships to money, banks and corporations. It shows that, without these legal constructs, some of them arcane, our societies would grind to a halt. These innovative summaries make complex ideas seem simple and provide the keys to understanding both the law and religion globally. The book will appeal to both lawyers and the general reader. The book concludes with the author's personal code for a modern way of living to promote the survival of humankind into the future. Vividly written by one of the most important lawyers of our generation, this magisterial and exciting work offers a powerful vision of the role of law in centuries to come and its impact on how we stay alive.
Table of contents
1. The Questions
2. The Purpose of Morality and Law
3. The Past and the Future
4. What is Religion?
5. What is the Rule of Law?
6. The Families of Religion: Western Religions
7. The Families of Religion: Eastern Religions8. The Families of Law
9. A Brief Tour of Secular Law
10. Money, Banks and Corporations
11. Secularisation and Religious Decline
12. Reasons for the Decline of Religiosity
13. Secularisation of Government
14. The Rise of the Lawyers
15. Who Rules the World: Lawyers or Economists?
16. What is Wrong with the Law?
17. Scientific Progress and the Law
18. A Way of Living19. A Billion Years from Now
Philip R. Wood CBE, QC (Hon) is a distinguished lawyer at a major international law firm, a visiting professor or fellow at Oxford, Cambridge and London universities and the author of 19 books. He is one of the leading international and comparative lawyers in the world.