In Catholic circles, after the Council of Trent moral theology became a field of study in and of itself, detached from philosophical theology and scripture. The Christian ethic was presented in the format of abstract manuals written to assist confessors in determining levels of culpability and the appropriate penance for specific sins. This chapter aims to reveal the particular ways that law and punitive judgment developed now that they were so often conceived by Christians to have rational and moral legitimacy. The thesis in brief is that the ethical principles of lawmakers, jurists, and political leaders became in large part the ethical principles of most Christians. The chapter traces three main areas of legal development: legal positivism, legal realism, and narrative accounts of the law. It concludes with a section describing the specific ways these movements have impacted the practice of criminal justice.