Nathan B. Oman

Nathan B. Oman

Rita Anne Rollins Professor of Law
Degrees: J.D., Harvard Law School; B.A., Brigham Young University
Email: [[nboman]]
Office phone: (757) 221-3919
Office location: Room 242
Full resume: here (.pdf in new window)
Areas of Specialization

Contract Law; Economic Analysis of Law; Jurisprudence; Law and Religion; Legal History

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Joined the faculty in 2006. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served on the Articles Committee of the Harvard Law Review and as an editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. He graduated from Brigham Young University, where he was a Benson Scholar, and, prior to law school, worked on the staff of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Morris Shepard Arnold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and worked as a litigation associate in the Washington, DC office of Sidley Austin, LLP.

Nathan Oman's work focuses on contracts, the philosophy of private law, and law and religion. He joined the faculty in 2006. Prior to becoming a professor, he was a litigation associate in the Washington DC office of Sidley Austin LLP and clerked for Judge Morris Shepard Arnold on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Scholarly Publications
  • Law and the Restoration: Essays on Law and the Latter-day Saint Tradition (forthcoming Kofford Books).
  • Democracy, Religion, and the Market (2023 Routledge) (with Kathleen Flake eds.).
  • Contracts: Cases & Doctrine (Wolters Kluwer 7th ed. 2021) (6th ed. 2016) (with Randy E. Barnett eds.).
  • Reapproaching Zion: New Essays in Mormon Social Thought (Nathan B. Oman ed., Common Consent Press 2020) (with Samuel D. Brunson eds.).
  • Perspectives on Contract Law (Aspen Coursebook Series 5th ed. 2018) (with Randy E. Barnett eds.).
  • The Dignity of Commerce: Markets and the Moral Foundations of Contract Law (Chicago U. Press 2016).
Articles and Book Chapters
  • Restructuring Ruritania: Bankruptcy, Sovereign Debt, and the Equity Receivership, 66 Ariz. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming).
  • The Case for Specific Performance of Personal Service Contracts, 110 Iowa L. Rev. __ (forthcoming) (with Kimberly Krawiec).
  • Intent to Create Legal Relations and the Nature of Contractual Consent, in Research Handbook of the Philosophy of Contract Law (Mindy Chen & Prince Saprai eds., forthcoming 2024).
  • Introduction: Democracy and Religion in the Market, in Democracy, Religion, and the Market 1 (Kathleen Flake & Nathan B. Oman eds. 2023) (with Kathleen Flake).
  • Regulating Religious Performance on the Commercial Stage, in Democracy, Religion, and the Market 177 (Kathleen Flake & Nathan B. Oman eds. 2023).
  • The Blessing That's Anticipated Here Will Be Realized in the Next Life”: The Development of Modern Latter-day Saint Marital Sealing Rules, 41 J. Mormon History 103 (2023).
  • Nomos, Narrative, and Nephi: Legal Interpretation in the Book of Mormon, 11 Brit. J. Am. Leg. Stud. 297 (2022).
  • Salt, Smurthwaite, and Smith: Litigation and the Legal Identity of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 48 J. Mormon Hist. 92 (2022).
  • "Established Agreeable to the Laws of Our Country": Mormonism, Church Corporations, and the Long Legacy of America's First Disestablishment, 36 J.L. & Rel. 202 (2021). Online.
  • Civil Disobedience and the Latter-day Saint Thought , 60 BYU Stud. Q. 229 (2021) in Open Questions in Latter-day Saint Theology (Terryl Givens & Eric Eliason eds.).
  • John Calvin's quarrel with civil recourse theory, in Christianity and Private Law (Michael Mooreland & Robert Cochran eds., Routledge 2021).
  • Markets and Contractual Fairness, 17 Europ. Rev. Contract L. 211 (2021). Online.
  • Mormonism and Conscience, in Christianity and the Laws of Conscience: An Introduction 245 (Jeffrey B. Hammond & Helen M. Alvare, eds., Cambridge U. Press, 2021).
  • The Temptation of Cosmic Private Law Theory, 66 Am. J. Jur. 395 (2021) (reviewing Nicholas J. McBride, The Humanity of Private Law (review essay). Online.
  • Doux Commerce in the City of God: Trade and the Mormon Idea of Zion, in Reapproaching Zion: New Essays on Mormon Social Thought 131 (Nathan B. Oman & Samuel Brunson eds., Common Consent Press 2020). SSRN.
  • Introduction: Reapproaching Zion, in Reapproaching Zion: New Essays in Mormon Social Thought 1 (Nathan B. Oman & Samuel Brunson eds., Common Consent Press 2020) (with Samuel Brunson).
  • Private Law and Local Custom, in The Oxford Handbook of the New Private Law Theory (Henry Smith et al. eds., Oxford U. Press 2020). SSRN.
  • Contract Law and the Liberalism of Fear, 20 Theo. Inquiries in L. 381 (2019).
  • 6 Mormon Stud. Rev. 167 (2019) (reviewing Richard E. Turley Jr. et al eds., Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers) (book review).
  • Temple, Talmud, and Sacrament: Some Christian Thoughts on Halakhah, 64 Villanova L. Rev. 743 (2019).
  • Commerce, Religion, and the Rule of Law, 6 J.L. Rel. & State 213 (2018). SSRN.
  • Justice Traynor and the Summer of Love: Misunderstanding the Parole Evidence Rule in Pacific Gas, in The Best and Worst of Contracts Decisions: An Anthology, 45 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 1004 (2018).
  • Beyond Gift and Bargain: Some Suggestions for Increasing Kidney Exchanges, 81 Law & Contemp. Prob. 37 (2018).
  • "I Will Give Unto You My Law": Section 42 as a Legal Text and the Paradoxes of Divine Law, in Embracing the Law: Reading Doctrine and Covenants 42 (Jeremiah John & Joseph M. Spencer eds., Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, BYU 2017).
  • "We the People of the Kingdom of God": Mormon Constitution Writing in the Council of Fifty, in The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal About Mormon History 55 (Mathew J. Grow & R. Eric Smith eds., Religious Studies Center, BYU 2017).
  • Doux Commerce, Religion, and the Limits of Antidiscrimination Law, 92 Ind. L.J. 693 (2017). SSRN.
  • Reconsidering Contractual Consent: Why We Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Boilerplate and Other Puzzles, 83 Brooklyn L. Rev. 215 (2017). SSRN.
  • "International Legal Experience and the Mormon Theology of the State, 1945-2012, in Out of Obscurity: Mormonism since 1945 (Patrick Mason & John Turner eds. 2016).
  • 33 L. & His. Rev. 480 (2015) (reviewing Gordan A. Madsenew, Jeffery N. Walker & John Welch: Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith's Legal Encounter) (book review).
  • International Legal Experience and the Mormon Theology of the State, 1945-2012, 100 Iowa L. Rev. 715 (2015). SSRN.
  • The Need for a Law of Church and Market, 64 Duke L.J. Online 141 (2015). SSRN.
  • A Theory of Civil Liability, 21 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 381 (2014).
  • Hobby Lobby, Corporate Law, and the Theory of the Firm: Why For-Profit Corporations are RFRA Persons, 124 Harv. L. Rev. F. 273 (2014) (with Alan Meese). SSRN.
  • 101 J. Am. Hist. 549 (2014) (reviewing Quincy D. Newell & Eric F. Mason, eds., New Perspectives in Mormon Studies: Creating and Crossing Boundaries) (book review).
  • The Supreme Court's Theory of Private Law, 62 Duke L.J. 1109 (2013) (with Jason M. Solomon). SSRN.
  • Markets as a Moral Foundation for Contract Law, 98 Iowa L. Rev. 183 (2012). SSRN.
  • Promise and Private Law, 45 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 935 (2012) (solicited).
  • Consent to Retaliation: A Civil Recourse Theory of Contractual Liability, 96 Iowa L. Rev. 529 (2011). SSRN.
  • How to Judge Sharia Contracts: A Guide to Islamic Marriage Contracts in American Courts, 2011 Utah L. Rev. 287. SSRN.
  • Natural Law and the Rhetoric of Empire: Reynolds v. United States, Polygamy, and Imperialism, 88 Wash. U. L. Rev. 661 (2011). SSRN.
  • The Honor of Private Law, 80 Fordham L. Rev. 31 (2011).
  • Why There is No Duty to Pay Damages: Powers, Duties, and Private Law, 39 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 137 (2011) (solicited).
  • Bargaining in the Shadow of God's Law: Islamic Mahr Contracts and the Perils of Legal Specialization, 45 Wake Forest L. Rev. 579 (2010) (solicited). SSRN.
  • A Pragmatic Defense of Contract Law, 98 Geo. L.J. 77 (2009). SSRN.
  • Preaching to the Court House and Judging in the Temple, 2009 BYU L. Rev. 157 (2009). SSRN.
  • Specific Performance and the Thirteenth Amendment, 93 Minn. L. Rev. 2020 (2009). SSRN.
  • Contract Law and Morality: Introduction, 48 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1643 (2007). SSRN.
  • The Failure of Economic Interpretations of the Law of Contract Damages, 64 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 829 (2007). SSRN.
  • Corporations and Autonomy Theories of Contract: A Critique of the New Lex Mercatoria, 82 Denv. U. L. Rev. 101 (2005). SSRN.
  • Statutory Interpretation in Econotopia, 25 Pace L. Rev. 49 (2005). SSRN.
  • Unity and Pluralism in Contract Law, 103 Mich. L. Rev. 1483 (2005) (reviewing Stephen Smith, Contract Theory) (book review). SSRN.
  • Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 116 Harv. L. Rev. 272 (2002) (case comment).
  • 'Standing Betwixt Them and Justice': War and Atonement in the Book of Mormon, in God Himself Will Come Down: Reading Mosiah 15 (Joseph Spencer & Andrew Smith eds., 2023).
  • A Local Faith, 49 BYU Studies 163 (2010).
  • Church-State Relations, in Encyclopedia of Mormon History (Paul Reeve & Ardis Parshall, eds., 2010) (solicited).
  • Mordred had a Point, 43 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 201 (2010) (reviewing Gary Topping, Leonard J. Arrington: A Historian's Life) (solicited).
  • United States v. Reynolds, in Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia 119 (2010) (Paul Reeve & Ardis Parshall eds.) (solicited).
  • Mormonism and Secular Government, in Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia 329 (Paul Reeve & Ardis Parshall eds., 2010).
  • 'The Living Oracles': Legal Interpretation and Mormon Thought, 42 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 1 (2009). SSRN.
  • Truth, Doctrine, and Authority, 5 Element: The Journal of the Society of Mormon Philosophy and Theology 9 (2009) (solicited).
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States 301 (David S. Tanenhaus et al. eds., 2008) (solicited).
  • The Scholar as Celebrant, 41 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 163 (reviewing Terryl Givens, People of Paradox: A Cultural History of Mormonism) (2008) (solicited).
  • A Defense of the Authority of Church Doctrine, 40 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 1 (2007).
  • Shylock and Article Nine of the U.C.C, in Perspectives on the Uniform Commercial Code 106 (2007) (Douglas E. Litowitz ed., 2d ed. 2007) (solicited).
  • Jurisprudence and the Problem of Church Doctrine, 2 Element: The Journal of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology 1 (2006).
  • Secret Combinations: A Legal Analysis, 16 FARMS Rev. 49 (2004).
  • Wagering on Religious Freedom, 116 Harv. L. Rev. 946 (2003) (note). SSRN.
  • Review of Sarah Barringer Gordon, 41 The Mormon Question, Brigham Young University Studies 71 (2002).
  • Story of a Forgotten Battle, 2002 BYU Studies 745 (2002) (reviewing Sarah Barringer Gordon, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (2001) (book review).
  • Washington v. Heckel, 115 Harv. L. Rev. 931 (2002) (case comment).
  • Out of Zion Shall Go Forth the Law, 12 Farms Rev. 113 (2000) (reviewing Richard Collin Mangrum & Edwin Firmage, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900) (book review).

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