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The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty
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The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  3 reviews
"The Dissent of the Governed" is a diagnosis of what ails the body politic - the unwillingness of people in power to hear disagreement unless forced to - and a prescription for a new process of response. Carter examines the divided American political character on dissent, with special reference to religion, identifying it in unexpected places, with an eye toward amending i ...more
Hardcover, 167 pages
Published April 12th 1998 by Harvard University Press (first published 1998)
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Todd Thompson
Written as lectures the author gave in 1995 at Harvard University, it is more apparent than ever, almost two decades later, that Stephen L. Carter's thoughts on the judiciary, religion, and the will of the governed are precise, on target, and alarming.

Carter's source for his argument is the founding document of the United States of America, the Declaration of Independence, from which he posits that the language most often cherished and held forth as the authority of governments, that is, "the c
For a long time now, at least since my wife and I visited the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, I've been thinking about the circumstances that precipitate civil disobedience.

In order for civil disobedience to be justified (assuming, of course, that it needs to be), it must appeal to a morality higher than the law of the state. As a Christian that's not a stretch for me, and the civil rights movement (at least as articulated by MLK) found its justification in transcendent Christian principles.
Jean Kelly
Interesting thoughts by the author about how important dissent is and his belief that dialogue is what the Declaration of Independence is all about. I found myself strongly agreeing with his assessment (even though he wrote it in the 1990's) that in America now everyone is speaking but no one is listening.
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Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale where he has taught since 1982. He has published seven critically acclaimed nonfiction books on topics ranging from affirmative action to religion and politics. His first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002), was an immediate national best seller. His latest novel is New England White (Knopf, 2007). A recipient of the NAA ...more
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