• George Nedungatt Pontifical Oriental Institute


Anthropological Dimension, Christological Dimension, The Pneumatological Dimension, The Ecclesiological Dimension, The Sociological Dimension, The Historical Dimension, The Hierarchical Dimension


The author gave a series of lectures on Theology of Law at the Institute of Oriental Canon Law, Dharmaram Vidyakshetram, Bangalore, in June-July 2011. The present article contains the text of the last lecture in a slightly revised form. The lectures were entitled as follows: 1) Theology of Law: Point of Departure, 2) Law in the Old Testament, 3) The Covenant: Biblical Foundation of Law, 4) Law in the New Testament, 5) Survival of the Old Testament Law in the Church, 6) Ius divinum, 7) Dimensions of Law in the Church. This last lecture is a synthesis of the foregoing ones on a different key. It tries to identify the characteristics of law in the Church as situated at the cross-section of anthropology, Christology, pneumatology, ecclesiology, sociology, and history. Law in the Church must be viewed as set on a value scale. Hence it is proper to speak of the hierarchy of laws in the Church on the model of the hierarchy of truths, to which theologians should be attentive. Similarly canonists must be attentive to the hierarchy of laws or the hierarchical dimension of laws in the Church.

Author Biography

George Nedungatt, Pontifical Oriental Institute

George Nedungatt, born on 21 December 1932 at Peringuzha (Kerala, India), was ordained a priest on 19 March 1964, in the Society of Jesus. He holds licentiate in Philosophy and Theology. He took doctorate in Oriental Canon Law from the PIO, Rome in 1973. Besides being professor of canon law, he has served in various capacities like Dean, Faculty of Canon Law at PIO from 1981-1987, Consultor of the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Eastern Canon Law (1973-1990), president of the Apostolic Process Tribunal, Palai, for the beatification of Sr. Alphonsa (1980), Consultor of the Special Commission of Liturgy of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, Rome (1989-2000), Consultor of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts, Rome, since 1991 and Consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, since 1997. He is also the editor of Kanonica since 1991 and Delegate to the Institute of Oriental Canon law, at DVK, Bangalore, India since 1999.