Completed in 1964, Harold J. Berman's long-lost tract shows how properly negotiated, translated and formalised legal language is essential to fostering peace and understanding within local and international communities. Exemplifying interdisciplinary and comparative legal scholarship long before they were fashionable, it is a fascinating prequel to Berman's monumental Law and Revolution series. It also anticipates many of the main themes of the modern movements of law, language and ethics. In his Introduction, John Witte, Jr, a student and colleague of Berman, contextualises the text within the development of Berman's legal thought and in the evolution of interdisciplinary legal studies. He has also pieced together some of the missing sections from Berman's other early writings and provided notes and critical apparatus throughout. An Afterword by Tibor Varady, another student and colleague of Berman, illustrates via modern cases the wisdom and utility of Berman's theories of law, language and community.
Harold J. Berman (1918-2007) was the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law and Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University, Atlanta. He was also James Barr Ames Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. A scholarly giant in the fields of Soviet law, international trade, legal history, legal philosophy, and law and religion, he published 25 books and 450 articles. John Witte, Jr, a student and colleague of Harold J. Berman, is Jonas Robitscher Professor of Law, Alonzo McDonald Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, Atlanta.
Introduction John Witte, Jr and Christopher J. Manzer; 1. Language as an effective symbol of community; 2. The language of law; 3. The growth of legal language; 4. The development of national legal languages; 5. The development of American law and legal language; 6. Conclusion: can communication build one world?; Afterword: law and language - from Babel to Pentecost Tibor Varady.