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Abstract

[extract] In this article, I do not deal with the morals of divorce. I assume that, after her own thoughtful consideration of the question, a Christian lawyer has concluded that a given divorce is not morally justified. The lawyer’s personal, but religious, moral view motivates an analysis of the rival claims of religious and professional role morals. These are addressed principally by reference to the concept of autonomy, as that concept relates to legal practice. This also compels a discussion of autonomy, first as it is presented by the dominant secular liberal accounts of the lawyer’s role, and secondly as it can be both redefined and repositioned from a Christian perspective. As will be seen, I accept that the Christian consciousness of God consumes decisions she is to make even as a lawyer in professional practice, and that this can demand ‘careful’ moral input in dealings with a potential client. If God is ‘something greater than can be thought’, the believer’s understanding of what it means to do God’s will must consume the choices she has to make in all of the social roles she has to adopt.

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