Worship as Public Legal Pedagogy: Interview with Joan Lockwood O’Donovan (Lockwood O’Donovan, 2016)

James K.A. Smith interview with Joan Lockwood O’Donovan in which she explains that the church’s public proclamation reminds society of the law—and grace—that transcends the state

Setting An Agenda for Political Theology, Joan Lockwood O’Donovan at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (Lockwood O’Donovan, 2007)

Lecture and Q&A from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 2007 Conference on Setting the Agenda for Political Theology

The Concept of Rights in Christian Moral Discourse (Lockwood O’Donovan)

The entrenchment of rights language in contemporary discourse is beyond dispute. No less significantly there are indications that the concept of rights is itself passing beyond dispute. The concept of subjective rights, or rights ascribable to individuals and groups, has entered contemporary political and legal currency primarily through the liberal contractarian tradition. Consequently, the meanings of the term ‘rights’ cannot be properly ascertained in detachment from this theoretical context. For these meanings are embedded in a constellation of political-legal, philosophical and theological concepts with a complex history. Thus, to appraise the contemporary vocabulary of ‘rights’ is to appraise the dynamic theoretical complex that has given rise to it. If such an appraisal seeks its standard of judgement in the Bible, then it is bound to proceed theologically.
My impression is that theologians often engage in a naive and facile appropriation of the language of rights.

Rights, Law and Political Community (Lockwood O’Donovan, 2003)

Most citizens of this country and of other advanced western and westernizing nations approve of human rights, some more guardedly than others; and most perceive rights to belong to the moral, political and legal fabric of modern liberal democracy. By rights, I mean rights attributable to subjects, to persons, whether individual or collective ‘persons’. To suggest that rights, freedom, and democracy go together (as does the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which has been the template for subsequent generations of declarations) is a modern truism, which, like most truisms, is largely true. Less clearly perceived, I think, is the extent to which human rights and democracy are bound up with liberal economics and free-market capitalism.