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Religions 2019, 10(2), 91;

The Tempest and Black Natural Law

School of Humanities, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions in Shakespeare's Writings)
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Vincent Lloyd’s 2016 book Black Natural Law presents four case histories in which African American intellectuals used the natural law tradition to mount defenses of the rights, capacities, and dignity of members of their communities. This essay uses the discourse of black natural law as reconstructed by Lloyd to reread Caliban’s political arguments and social and aesthetic project in The Tempest. Although the natural law tradition became increasingly secularized during the century of revolution, black thinkers such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King, Jr. drew on the religious renditions of natural law that were alive in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Reading Shakespeare with black natural law is not simply an audacious leap into our troubled present, but also brings new focus on the forms of scripturally-inspired pluralism that natural law theory supported in Shakespeare’s age. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural law; black theology; The Tempest; Richard Hooker; Thomas Aquinas; James Cone; Vincent Lloyd natural law; black theology; The Tempest; Richard Hooker; Thomas Aquinas; James Cone; Vincent Lloyd
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lupton, J.R. The Tempest and Black Natural Law. Religions 2019, 10, 91.

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