Veranstaltet in Kooperation mit dem geplanten SFB "Transfer und Episteme"
Sprachen: Deutsch und Englisch
Information und Anmeldung: Dr. Iris Colditz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The legal systems in the Near and Middle Eastern world (Sasanian, Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Canon and Islamic law) formed part of a common historical context and in many fields influenced each other. Although they emerged in a melting pot of religions, cultures and political entities and many significant parallels and similarities could be detected between important institutions, there is no research platform to illuminate the early development of „oriental law“ as a coherent body of religious legal systems in a competent manner. It is the purpose of this exploratory workshop to provide a basis for interdisciplinary studies in this field bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines and pathing the way for innovative methods of analysis. It aims at shedding light on the interaction and interdependence of the above mentioned legal systems in the Near and Middle Eastern world covering an important period of consolidation and formation of various systems between the 3rd-13th centuries with the focus on family law. Investigating the structure of kinship and the development of different legal strategies in the fields of family law, marriage and inheritance is not only important for comparative legal studies, but also for understanding the social, cultural and political history of the area and its interdependencies in general. Since descent groups were the basic political, religious and economic units in a society completely different from our own, a deeper comparative analysis of the norms, rules and laws governing the organization of the family will contribute to a far better understanding of social structures as a whole. Although there is enough material in the sources on the subject and interesting work has been done in the past years, the far-reaching social implications of family law and the interaction of various legal systems in this area have still been largely neglected. The workshop aims at establishing a network of scholars, who will deal with the phenomenon in a more systematic manner.
The workshop will have a particular focus on the following aspects:
Although the phenomenon of legal reception has attracted the attention of many scholars and given rise to numerous comparative studies, most of these studies are far from being interdisciplinary and prove to be restricted to the juxtaposition of single legal elements. A comprehensive and updated survey of the relevant contributions in the field of family law may help to crystallize areas of particularly intensive legal interaction. It is these networks of parallels that provide the basis for a more systematic analysis.
A great number of primary sources still have to be detected and edited. Experts from the different disciplines are requested to take stock giving insight into the multitude of sources dispersed throughout the libraries inside and outside Europe. A more precise survey of the quantity and quality of sources will help to determine complexes of sources, both edited and unedited, which prove to be interconnected with regard to legal subject, time and place. This is all the more important as manuscripts usually are arranged according to different criteria such as “collector” or “language”.
In spite of the abundance of comparative studies there is no methodological basis for proving legal reception. The mere similarity of single legal elements does not necessarily mean that the one is genetically dependent on the other. This problem has produced a great number of contradictory results. In order to prove genetic depen¬dence more systematic and convincing methods have to be developed. It is one of the purposes of the conference to draw attention to this problem and to discuss innovative methods of analysis considering the central aspects of „interdisciplinarity“ and „historical context“.
More often than not the phenomenon of legal reception is traced back to the lack of originality on the side of the host culture. This might be one of the reasons for the latter to deny the fact of legal reception. However, in many cases legal reception gave rise to the formation of completely novel conceptions in the host culture, which in their turn became the object of further receptions by a third legal system. It is this process of transformation which represents an essential factor of legal development and hence deserves to be analyzed in a more detailed way. Correspondingly participants in the conference are encouraged to present not only simple examples of legal reception in the Near and Middle Eastern world, but also the developments which result from reception.
The workshop will also serve as a forum to discuss the project “Interaktion und Wandel orientalischer Rechtssysteme. Transfer nor¬ma¬tiven Wissens am Beispiel des zoroastrischen und islamischen Rechts (7.-11. Jh.)“, carried out by the Institut für Iranistik of the Freie Universität Berlin and applied for as part of the research programm “Transfer und Episteme”.
27.03.2010 | 10:30 s.t - 18:00
Institut für Iranistik, Schwendenerstr. 17, 14195 Berlin