EXC 2060 B3-11 - Contract law between legistics and canonistics

in Process
Funding Source
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Project Number
EXC 2060/1
  • Description

    The project is exploring how and for what purposes discourses from the Middle Ages to the present have invoked aequitas. This question naturally links legal scholars, philosophers, and theologians, for example, when extra-legal authorities are called upon in decision-making. Thus, the doctrine of equality of Nicomachean ethics (epikie) is just as important as the later Christian notion of aequitas. But the phenomenon is also of general historical interest. If legal, theological, and political disputes cannot in principle be separated from their social context, then this is especially true where they are based explicitly on religious beliefs or ethical sensibilities. Nonetheless, previous research on this question has remained largely within disciplines, concentrating as it has, for example, on the aequitas canonica in canon law or on the contrast between ius aequum and ius strictum in secular law.

    The first part of the project is dissolving the existing boundaries and using a historical-comparative approach to focus on the use of aequitas as a topos of legitimation. In a dialogue between legal scholars, theologians, philosophers, and historians, the aim is to work out the function that argumentation based on aequitas has assumed since the flourishing of legistics and canonistics in the Middle Ages up to the present. From this basis, the project will then determine how far and with what justification aequitas has been a gateway for which external values, and what has determined the criteria for allowing the invocation of aequitas.

    In parallel to this first part of the project, the second part is exploring in an independent, in-depth study which ideas of aequitas-based argumentation guided jurisprudence at the beginning of its “renaissance” at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries. The main aim here is to shed light on how the authority of the ancient sources was founded, and whether this authority was perhaps only consolidated gradually.

    Overall, the project aims to sharpen the view of the close entanglement of religion, law, and state decisions beyond the material phenomena that have already received much attention (for example, the doctrine of the just price).

  • Persons