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Sir William Blackstone & American Natural Law: An Interview with PHC Professor Robert Stacey, PhD.

Vol. 51, Prg. 21–25
March 29–April 2, 2004

What 18th-century figure wrote a seminal work on British common law and profoundly influenced the political philosophy of America’s founders? The name Blackstone is little known outside of legal circles, but his Commentaries on the Laws of England were vital to our nation’s birth. This week, Mike Farris interviews the chairman of Patrick Henry College’s department of government, Dr. Robert Stacey, about his recent book, Sir William Blackstone and the Common Law. At a time when secular humanists wanted to erase God from public life, Blackstone firmly believed that biblical law was the sole basis for just human law—and the Founding Fathers agreed. Today, Christians face a similar ideological conflict. By studying Blackstone’s response to the secular challenge over 300 years ago, we can formulate what Farris calls a “battle philosophy for the next generation.”

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Core Concepts
Who was William Blackstone?
Justice: Culture Concepts or Eternal Truth?
Blackstones's Contribution to America’s Legal System
Blackstone and Our Current Culture Debate


Robert Stacey, Ph.D.

Robert Stacey, Ph.D., is chairman of the department of government and assistant professor of government at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. Dr. Stacey teaches one of the college's flagship courses, Freedom's Foundations, as well as The Presidency and various elective courses in public policy and political philosophy. In addition, he directs student research and writing projects as a part of the government department's student apprenticeship program and is a student adviser. Dr. Stacey is also co-director of the Patrick Henry College Public Policy Institute. He took his B.A. in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government at the University of Virginia. Prior to coming to Patrick Henry College, Dr. Stacey served as Visiting Assistant Professor of American Government at the University of Richmond and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lee University.

Program Offer

Nearly all Americans are familiar with the contributions of Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, and many other patriots of the eighteenth century. Few Americans, however, are familiar with the one person who had the greatest influence on the thinking of our founding fathers: Sir William Blackstone. An introduction for many to this legal scholar, law professor, attorney, member of Parliament, and judge who shaped the thindking of our founding fathers and, as a result, shaped the content of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Softcover, 134 pages.

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