The Jurist (journal)

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The first issue appeared on January 6, 1941. [2] Initial responses to the journal were favorable, as it was declared "We applaud its present performance and look forward to the improvement which its initial effort promises and which maturity will bring" [3] and "the first issue warrants the belief that the scholars of the United States will make valuable contributions to the study of canon law.". [4]

Until 1976, the journal was a quarterly publication, but since then it has been issued twice yearly; beginning with volume 71, the journal has been published for the School of Canon Law of the Catholic University of America by the Catholic University of America Press. The editorial board consists of the faculty of the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America, the only such school in the United States. The journal is published in print form, but also forms part of the electronic collection Project MUSE.

Catholic University of America Private Catholic university in Washington, D.C.

Catholic University of America (CUA) is a private Catholic university in Washington, D.C.. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops. Established in 1887 as a graduate and research center following approval by Pope Leo XIII on Easter Sunday, the university began offering undergraduate education in 1904. The university's campus lies within the Brookland neighborhood, known as "Little Rome", which contains 60 Catholic institutions, including Trinity Washington University and the Dominican House of Studies, as well as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Catholic University of America Press, also known as CUA Press, is the publishing division of The Catholic University of America. Founded on November 14, 1939, and incorporated on July 16, 1941, the CUA Press is a long-time member of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP). Its editorial offices are located on the campus of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.. The Press has over 1,000 titles in print and currently publishes 40 new titles annually, with particular emphasis on theology, philosophy, ecclesiastical history, medieval studies, and canon law. CUA Press distributes books on behalf of Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, books of the Catholic Biblical Association, the Franciscan University of Steubenville Press, Humanum Academic Press of the John Paul II Institute, and for the Academy of American Franciscan History.

Project MUSE

Project MUSE, a non-profit collaboration between libraries and publishers, is an online database of peer-reviewed academic journals and electronic books. Project MUSE contains digital humanities and social science content from over 250 university presses and scholarly societies around the world. It is an aggregator of digital versions of academic journals, all of which are free of digital rights management (DRM). It operates as a third-party acquisition service like EBSCO, JSTOR, OverDrive, and ProQuest.


Initially the journal focused largely on issues of Latin church law both in terms of its history, medieval and modern, and contemporary practice. However, within the past few decades since the Second Vatican Council, it has broadened its horizons and audience. For it also explores questions of interest to theologians, Eastern Catholic church lawyers, civil lawyers, diocesan planners and diocesan finance and personnel officials. Recent issues have contained the decisions of the Apostolic Signatura in Latin and English translation.

The legal history of the Catholic Church is the history of the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, much later than Roman law but predating the evolution of modern European civil law traditions. The history of Latin canon law can be divided into four periods: the jus antiquum, the jus novum, the jus novissimum and the Code of Canon Law. In relation to the Code, history can be divided into the jus vetus and the jus novum. Eastern canon law developed separately.

Second Vatican Council Roman Catholic ecumenical council held in Vatican City from 1962 to 1965

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II, addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world. The council, through the Holy See, was formally opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and was closed under Pope Paul VI on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1965.

Apostolic Signatura tribunal of the Roman Curia

The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church. In addition, it oversees the administration of justice in the church.

Editors and method

Previous editors included Jerome Daniel Hannan; Frederick R. McManus, who headed the journal from 1959-1989; James H. Provost; and Thomas J. Green. The editor is Kurt Martens  [ nl ]. The Jurist is double-blind peer-reviewed. [5]

Frederick R. McManus Roman Catholic priest and academic

Frederick Richard McManus was an American Roman Catholic priest and academic, who served as a peritus on the liturgy at the Second Vatican Council. He presided at the first English Mass in the United States in 1964 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a leader in the church in opening up dialogue with the Orthodox Church. He served as dean of The Catholic University of America's School of Canon Law. He published eleven books on the liturgy as well as hundreds of popular articles, spending 40 years as editor of The Jurist: Studies in Church Law and Ministry.

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The School of Canon Law is the only faculty of Catholic canon law in the United States. It is one of the twelve schools at The Catholic University of America, located in Washington, D.C. and one of the three ecclesiastical schools at the university, together with the School of Theology and Religious Studies and the School of Philosophy. The school is part of the main campus in the Brookland neighborhood in Northeast D.C. and is housed in Caldwell Hall. It offers the Licentiate of Canon Law and the Doctor of Canon Law ecclesiastical degrees, as well as civil and joint ecclesiastical-civil degree programs.


  1. C. Joseph Nuesse The Catholic University of America: A Centennial History (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1990)[ page needed ]
  2. Arthur J. Esplenage "The Jurist: 60 Years and Counting" The Jurist: Studies in Church Law and Ministry vol. 62(1) 2002, p.42.
  3. American Ecclesiastical Review vol. 104 (March, 1941) p. 285.
  4. John C. Ford "Current Moral Theology and Canon Law," Theological Studies 2 (1941) p. 556
  5. CUA School of Canon Law,The Jurist,, accessed 29 July 2019.