1st Edition

Permutations of Order
Religion and Law as Contested Sovereignties

ISBN 9781138276406
Published November 16, 2016 by Routledge
288 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Permutations of Order makes an innovative and important contribution to current discussions about the relationship between religion and law, bringing together theoretically informed case studies from different parts of the world, relating to various types of politico-legal settings and religions. This volume also deals with contemporary legal/religious transfigurations that involve "permutations," meaning that elements of "legal" and "religious" acts of ordering are at times repositioned within each realm and from one realm to the other. These permutations of order in part result from the fact that, in ethnographic settings like those examined here, "legal" and "religious" realms are relational to-and in certain cases even constitutive of-each other and they result in categoric transpositions and new social positionalities through which, among other things, "the legal" and "the religious" are blended. Permutations of Order is a work that transcends convention, identifies new and theoretically overarching themes and will be of strong interest to researchers and policy-makers seeking a comparative focus on the intersections and disjunctions of religion and law.



Dr Thomas G. Kirsch is Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Between 1993 and 2001, he conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Zambia. He has published two books on African Christianity (one of them entitled Spirits and Letters: Reading, Writing and Charisma in African Christianity; Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books; 2008). Since 2003, he has also conducted ethnographic fieldwork on issues of human safety, security and crime prevention in South Africa. Dr Bertram Turner is senior researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. He was assistant professor at the Institute of Social Anthropology and African Studies in Munich between 1993 and 2001, where he taught anthropology with a special focus on religion and legal anthropology. He has held university teaching positions in Munich and Leipzig. He has been conducting fieldwork in Morocco since 1996 with a specific focus on the management of natural resources, Islamic activism and conflict settlement in a plural legal setting.


'This book is an important contribution to a new generation of interdisciplinary law and religion scholarship. The authors of these very diverse essays aim to burst the constraints of legal doctrine’s narrow analytic categories and view both law and religion as ever-changing and sharply contested realms of metaphor, meaning, and practice. The richly contextualized studies featured in this volume reveal the many ways in which law and religion have come to interact during an age of rapid global reproduction, diffusion, and change.' David M. Engel, State University of New York, Buffalo, USA 'A rewarding collection of anthropological essays that illuminates the complex struggles taking place over the drawing of the boundaries between the religious and the secular all over the world and the protean role which law plays both as authority and as field of contestation. Anybody interested in understanding the shifting terrains of our emerging post-secular global (dis-)order should read this book.' José Casanova, Georgetown University, USA '...Permutations of Order is a valuable book for scholars working in the sociology or anthropology of religion, especially those interested in surveying the extremely broad range of questions arising at the intersection of law and religion.' Journal of Contemporary Religion 'Highly recommended for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics and the transformations in the religious and legal realms of the contemporary world.' Religion and Society: Advances in Research