Russell Hittinger

Russell Hittinger is the William K. Warren Chair of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa, where he is also a Research Professor of Law. He is the Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

The Rule of Law and the Rule of Reason

Steven Grosby’s essay is an excellent contribution on the formal and procedural elements that must be upheld to maintain the rule of law. Grosby’s essay, however, invites us to unpack what kind of “reason” is inherent in law and to ask what it means for law “to rule.” The 13th century theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas did not treat “rule of law” with the sophistication that we expect from jurisprudents today.  But he had a remarkably deep and clear understanding of the underlying philosophical question: Does law belong chiefly to reason, or does it pertain chiefly to the force of…

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The Rule of (Pluralistic) Laws

Steven Grosby’s rich Liberty Forum essay combines, as his writing always does, a sensitivity to history with a careful attention to theoretical problems. I am tempted to engage him on the terrain of history, in the hope of prompting still more from him on the Middle Ages; were I just a listener, that is what…

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One Need Not Choose Between the Rule of Law and Constitutional Federalism

I am delighted to have had the opportunity to read Professor Grosby’s Liberty Forum essay and to be invited to comment on it. I am especially happy that Professor Grosby has focused on the rule of law as a legal concept, as opposed to arguing that it's a political or philosophical concept. For unlike much…

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The Rule of Law and Its Many Tensions

Best to begin by acknowledging one’s mistakes. In the original Liberty Forum essay given the title “Why Freedom Is a Legal Concept,” I referred to the often quoted statement, so important for liberty and the rule of law, of Henry de Bracton, that “above the king is the university of the realm”—that is, “there is…

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Scholasticism and Political Freedom


In this edition of Liberty Law Talk, we discuss with Russell Hittinger, the William K. Warren Chair of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa, Jacques Maritain’s Scholasticism and Politics, recently republished by Liberty Fund. The text is

 a collection of nine lectures Maritain delivered at the University of Chicago in 1938. While the lectures address a variety of diverse topics, they explore three broad topics: 1) the nature of modern culture, its relationship to Christianity, and the origins of the crisis which has engulfed it; 2) the true nature and authentic foundations of human freedom and dignity and the threats posed to them by the various materialist and naturalistic philosophies that dominate the modern cultural scene; and 3) the principles that provide the authentic foundation of a social order in accord with human dignity. 

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