Menashi on Property Rights in Locke’s Two Treatises

March 30th, 2011

I read an earlier draft of Cain as His Brother’s Keeper: Property Rights and Christian Ethics in Locke’s Two Treatises of Government by Steven Menashi and really enjoyed it. I am glad to see Steven placed it in the Seton Hall Law Review. It’s a Jersey thing. Here is the abstract:

Those scholars who regard Locke’s theory of property as a reflection of conventional Christian views pay insufficient attention to the deliberate rhetorical method of his Two Treatises of Government. Close attention to the text reveals profound criticisms of prevailing Christian doctrine. In fact, Locke’s theory of property forms the core of a moral theory that aims to supplant traditional religious teaching with an ethic of human industry and individual autonomy. Understanding Locke’s intention illuminates the foundations of American constitutionalism and of modern liberalism.