Natural law changed its character in the post-Reformation period, mainly because it became an academic discipline. This institutionalisation happened first in Protestant countries but increasingly also in Catholic areas. In the hands of philosophers and jurists rather than theologians the subject served a wide variety of purposes in domestic, colonial, imperial and international politics, in judicial administration, legislation and reform, in social analysis and in the inculcation of social ethics. Although concerned with the foundations of morality, law and politics, early modern natural law was far from a coherent philosophical theory, but rather the framework for fundamental disputes. What kind of natural law was adopted in a given place and period was often a matter of local controversy in state, church and university. At the same time, natural law was characterised by extensive transnational networks.
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• Frank Grunert, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
• Knud Haakonssen, University of St Andrews and Universität Erfurt
• Louis Pahlow, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Board of Advisors
• Maria Rosa Antognazza, King’s College London
• John Cairns, University of Edinburgh
• Thomas Duve, Max-Planck-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte, Frankfurt am Main
• Ian Hunter, University of Queensland
• Diethelm Klippel, Universität Bayreuth
• Martin Mulsow, Universität Erfurt
• Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
• Simone Zurbuchen, Université de Lausanne