God in the Courtroom: Religion's Role at Trial

Brian Bornstein, Monica Miller

Research output: Book/ReportBook

31 Scopus citations


The phrase 'God in the courtroom' conjures up several images, such as William Jennings Bryan defending religion against the tyranny of evolution, a robed deity passing divine judgment, a witness swearing to tell 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God,' and so on. But there are numerous other, often subtle ways in which religion and law intersect. This book reviews legal developments and behavioral science research concerning the effects of religion on legal practice, decision making processes of various legal actors, and trial outcomes. For example, religious beliefs might influence the decisions of legal decision makers, such as judges and jurors. Attorneys might rely on religion, both in the way they approach their professional practice generally and in specific trial tactics (e.g., using a scriptural rationale in arguing for a particular trial outcome). This book covers these and related topics in exploring how religion affects the actions of all of the major participants at trial: jurors, judges, attorneys, and litigants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages272
ISBN (Electronic)9780199869954
ISBN (Print)9780195328677
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Attorneys
  • Judges
  • Juries
  • Jurors
  • Legal practice
  • Litigants
  • Religious denominations
  • Trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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