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Law and the Utopian Imagination$
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Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merill Umphrey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804790819

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804790819.001.0001

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“What about Peace?”: Cotton Mather’s Millennium and the Rise of International Law

“What about Peace?”: Cotton Mather’s Millennium and the Rise of International Law

“What about Peace?”: Cotton Mather’s Millennium and the Rise of International Law
Law and the Utopian Imagination

Nan Goodman

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how the language of the law is not only reflected in but also helps to shape even those utopic imaginations that are often embedded in millenialist visions of Christianity and that are so often thought to be especially impervious to contemporary events. In examining Cotton Mather's book-length sermon, Things to be Look’d For, the chapter argues that not only was Mather engaging with legal visions in a religious context, but that the law to which he turns for those visions was not domestic, as was typically the case, but international. Influenced by the principles of international law, Mather, the chapter argues, turns the concept of peace, which was central to the millenialist utopia, from a static into a dynamic phenomenon like that emerging from the law and the many peace treaties that followed in its wake.

Keywords:   Millennium, utopia, international law, Cotton Mather, peace, law of nations, Puritans, religion, war, New England

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