Routledge Handbook of Religious Laws (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Religious Laws

Edited by Silvio Ferrari, Bottoni Rossella

© 2018 – Routledge

448 pages

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Hardback: 9781138698437
pub: 2018-04-01
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Much has been written on specific religious legal systems, yet substantial comparative studies that strive to compare systems, identifying their analogies and differences have been relatively few.  This absence undermines the capacity to understand religions and becomes particularly serious when the faithful of these religions live together in the same geographical space, as happens today with increasing frequency. Both interreligious dialogue and dialogue between States and religions presuppose a set of data and information that only comparative research can provide.

This book seeks to address this gap in the literature by presenting a comparative analysis of Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Hindu laws and traditions. Divided into five parts, the first section of the book offers the historical background for the legal analysis that is developed in the subsequent sections. Section two deals with the sources of law in the four religions under discussion. Section three addresses the dynamics of belonging and status; and Section four looks at issues relating to the conclusion of marriage, and its dissolution. The fifth and final section discusses how each religion views the legal Other. Each section concludes with a chapter exploring what we can learn from a comparative examination of the topic that is dealt with in that section.

Written by leading experts in the field, this book presents a clear and comprehensive picture of key religious legal systems along with a substantial bibliography. It provides a state of the art overview of scholarship in this area accompanied by a critical evaluation. As such, it will be an invaluable resource for all those concerned with religious legal systems, multiculturalism, and comparative law.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. Comparing four religious legal systems; Part I: History; 2. An historical overview of Christian law; 3. An historical overview of Islamic law; 4. An historical overview of Jewish law; 5. An historical overview of Hindu law; Part II: Sources of law; 6. Sources of Jewish law; 7. Sources of Christian law; 8. Sources of Islamic law; 9. Sources of Hindu law; 10. Comparative remarks; Part III: Dynamics of belonging; 11. Entering/leaving the Jewish community; 12. Entering/leaving the Christian community; 13.Entering/leaving the Islamic community; 14. Entering/leaving the Hindu community; 15. Comparative remarks; Part IV: Borders of membership; 16. Inside/outside in Jewish law; 17. Inside/outside in Christian law; 18. Inside/outside in Islamic law; 19. Inside/outside in Hindu law; 20. Comparative remarks; Part V: Religious v. secular law; 21.Jewish law perspectives; 22. Christian law perspectives; 23. Islamic law perspectives; 24. Hindu law perspectives; 25. Comparative remarks; Conclusion;

About the Editors

Silvio Ferrari is Professor of Law and Religion at the Universities of Milan and Leuven. He has been Visiting professor at the University of California (Berkeley, 1994 and 2001), the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (London, 1998-99) and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris, Sorbonne, 2004).

Rossella Bottoni is a Researcher at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy. She has published extensively in both English and Italian on aspects relating to law and religion.

About the Series

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

The ICLARS Series on Law and Religion is designed to provide a forum for the rapidly expanding field of research in law and religion. The series is published in association with the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, an international network of scholars and experts of law and religion founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a place where information, data and opinions can easily be exchanged among members and made available to the broader scientific community ( The series aims to become a primary source for students and scholars while presenting authors with a valuable means to reach a wide and growing readership.

The series editors are currently welcoming proposals for this new series on any matter falling under ‘law and religion’ widely defined. Collections arising from important conferences and events are welcome as well as monographs by both established names and new voices (including monographs based on doctoral dissertations). Also of interest are interdisciplinary works and studies of particular jurisdictions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General