Dr. John Makdisi

Dr. John Makdisi
Dr. John Makdisi
Part-time Lecturer,

Meet Dr. John Makdisi

Received his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania, his Doctor of Juridical Science in Islamic Law from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Moral Theology from Catholic University of America. Brings almost 40 years’ experience as a Professor of Law.

His respect for the Abbey as a Catholic institution allowing for the free flow of ideas in search of the Truth.

Researching and publishing articles on American law and on Thomistic moral theology.

“My area of study is the intersection between law and theology, both of which illuminate our moral lives.”

Examples of classes taught by Dr. John Makdisi:

  • TH 205 Introduction to Theology
  • Ph.D., Catholic University of America
  • M.Phil., Catholic University of America
  • M.A., St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary
  • S.J.D., Harvard Law School
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • B.A., Harvard College


  • A Christian Response to Laws that Require Immoral Acts, Nova et Vetera (forthcoming 2021)
  • The Transformation of Marriage as a State Institution, 14 Intercultural Human Rights Law Review 371 (2019) (co-author with June Mary Makdisi) (part of a Festschrift in honor of John and June Mary Makdisi upon their retirement from St. Thomas University School of Law)
  • A Thomistic Perspective on Natural Law Reasoning in the Supreme Courts, 45 Ohio Northern University Law Review 301 (2019)
  • Aquinas’s Prohibition of Killing Reconsidered, 57 Journal of Catholic Legal Studies 67 (2018)
  • Estates in Land and Future Interests: Problems and Answers, 7th ed. (Wolters Kluwer 2018)
  • The Object of the Moral Act: Understanding St. Thomas Aquinas through the Work of Steven Long and Martin Rhonheimer (Ph.D. Dissertation, Proquest 2017)
  • Uncaring Justice: Why Jacque v. Steenberg Homes Was Wrongly Decided, 51 Journal of Catholic Legal Studies 111-43 (2012)
  • Inside Property Law: What Matters and Why (Aspen Publishers 2009) (co-author with Daniel B. Bogart)
  • Introduction to the Study of Law: Cases and materials (3d ed. LexisNexis 2009) (co-author with Michael Makdisi)
  • The Kindred Concepts of Seisin and Hawz in English and Islamic Law, in The Law Applied: Contextualizing the Islamic Shariˋa, edited by Peri Bearman, Wolfhart Heinrichs, and Bernard G. Weiss, 22-41 (I.B. Taurus 2008)
  • Florida Property Law: II. Conveyancing and Governmental Controls (Carolina Academic Press 2007) (with Teacher’s Manual)
  • Florida Property Law: I. Possession, Estates, and Tenancy (Carolina Academic Press 2006) (with Teacher’s Manual)
  • Islamic Property Law: Cases and Materials for Comparative Analysis with the Common Law (Carolina Academic Press 2005) (with Teacher’s Manual)
  • A Survey of AALS Law Schools Teaching Islamic Law, 55 Journal of Legal Education 583-88 (2005)
  • Improving Education-Delivery in the Twenty-First Century: The Vital Role of the Law Librarian, 95 Law Library Journal 431-34 (2003)
  • A Reality Check on Istihsan as a Method of Islamic Legal Reasoning, 2 UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law 99-127 (2002-03)
  • The Islamic Origins of the Common Law, 77 North Carolina Law Review 1635-1739 (1999)
  • Islamic Law Bibliography: Revised and Updated List of Secondary Sources, 87 Law Library Journal 69-191 (1995) (co-author with Marianne Makdisi)
  • Chapter 30 (70 pages) and §§17.01, 18.01, 19.01, 23.01, 28.01 (63 pages) in volumes 2 & 3 of Thompson on Real Property (D. Thomas, ed., Michie Co. 1994) & 1995 Supplement
  • Hard Cases and Human Judgment in Islamic and Common Law, 2 Indiana International & Comparative Law Review 191-219 (1991)
  • Justification in the Killing of an Innocent Person, 38 Cleveland State Law Review 85-96 (1990)
  • An Inquiry into Islamic Influences during the Formative Period of the Common Law, Chapter 7 of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, pp. 135-146 (N. Heer, ed., University of Washington Press 1990)
  • Proportional Liability: A Comprehensive Rule to Apportion Tort Damages Based on Probability, 67 North Carolina Law Review 1063-1101 (1989)
  • How to Do a Perpetuities Problem, 36 Cleveland State Law Review 95-103 (1988)
  • Islamic Law Bibliography, 78 Law Library Journal 103-189 (1986)
  • Formal Rationality in Islamic and Common Law, 34 Cleveland State Law Review 97-112 (1985-86)
  • An Objective Approach to Contractual Mistake in Islamic Law, 3 Boston University International Law Journal 324-344 (1985)
  • Legal Logic and Equity in Islamic Law, 33 American Journal of Comparative Law 63-92 (1985)
  • The Vesting of Executory Interests, 59 Tulane Law Review 366-388 (1984) (cited in Dukeminier & Krier, Property, 4th ed., p. 275 (1998))
  • Fixed Shares in Intestate Distribution: A Comparative Analysis of Islamic and American Law, 1984 Brigham Young University Law Review 267-304 (1984)
  • Ladner on Conveyancing in Pennsylvania, rev’d 4th ed. (principal editor), 2 volumes, 1055 pages (George T. Bisel Co. 1979)
  • Moral Theology
  • Law

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