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From International Law to World Peace

From International Law to World Peace

Jurisprudence, the Law of Nations, and the Right of Humankind Viewed in Philosophical-Historical Context

By Valentin Tomberg

Translated by Stephen Churchyard

504 pp

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About the Book

Valentin Tomberg’s From International Law to World Peace was written in England in 1952, when the Cold War was becoming the determining political factor throughout the world. In our own time also we teeter on the brink of war and peace—we need only call to mind the present conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine. In short, the question of establishing world peace, and the role of international law in promoting it, is more relevant than ever. Tomberg examines with great clarity and insight the history of the jurisprudence of international law from its very beginnings in antiquity up to the middle of the twentieth century. He echoes the theme of his earlier work, The Art of the Good: The Regeneration of Fallen Justice, that the modern development of law consists in its gradual degeneration. Based on Thomas Aquinas’s conception of law, he sees at the top of the legal edifice the eternal law that reveals itself in the world as divine law, as that itself underlies the natural law, which in turn evokes a sense of right and justice as a basic orientation for the positive law established by humankind. Tomberg does not limit himself, however, to justifying his thesis that these stages are no longer present in law—rather, he offers perspectives as to how the degenerative process he so exhaustively diagnoses can be counteracted by a regeneration of law. May the book in your hands contribute to meeting this challenge!


“In this extended study of the history of jurisprudence, Valentin Tomberg documents how, owing to the gradual collapse of the traditional hierarchy of law, all that remains today is a single-level law—positivism—and that even this remnant is tottering on its last legs, leaving us in the face of total lawlessness. But he does not leave us hanging. He opens a vista of how this grim picture of degeneration can be reversed in the direction of a regeneration of the hierarchy of law—and, more generally, of a reawakening of humanity to our higher vocation of righteousness in the great spiritual hierarchy of the world.”—MICHAEL FRENSCH, author of Weisheit in Person, Die Wiederkunft Christi, etc.

“In the middle of a century that has been plagued by perpetual wars, Valentin Tomberg has penned a tour de force of Jurisprudence. For those who appreciated his shorter works on law and justice, The Art of the Good: On the Regeneration of Fallen Justice and Jus Humanitatis: The Right of Humankind as Foundation for International Law, this work presents his vision of Jurisprudence in its entirety, with all its depth. Angelico Press has done a great service by making this work available for the first time in English.”—BRIAN M. MCCALL, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Chair in Law, University of Oklahoma

About the Author

VALENTIN TOMBERG was born in St. Petersburg on February 26, 1900. Having been baptized a Protestant, he entered the Greek Orthodox church shortly before 1933, and, in 1945, became a Roman Catholic. Tomberg came to regard the modern path away from natural law (founded upon religion) and toward legal positivism (oriented toward power) as a dismantling of the different levels of law (and at the same time a loss of both the idea and ideal of law)-that is, as a process of degeneration or "fall," which Tomberg seeks to reverse in the direction of regeneration.

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