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Common Roots, Diverging Branches: Dynamism in Islamic and Jewish Law

February 21, 2018 @ 11:45 - 13:00

The Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at the Harvard Law School presents a lunchtime lecture with Professor Gideon Libson (Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem):

Gideon Libson is Professor Emeritus of Jewish and Islamic Law and Comparative Jewish and Islamic Law in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has written extensively on Jewish Law, Islamic Law and Comparative Jewish-Islamic Law. His book on Jewish and Islamic Law: A Comparative Study of Custom During the Geonic Period was published by Harvard University Press in 2003.

Prof. Gideon Libson’s lecture will explore the core common principles in several fields of law in the Islamic and Jewish legal traditions, with clear similarities between them. It was only over the years that the two systems diverged, primarily as a result of Jewish law’s dynamic ability to adapt to the challenges and constraints of changing circumstances by supplementing the initial core with additional normative layers. As a result of the significant disparity that emerged between them, their initial common basis has become completely invisible. The similarity between the two systems has all but vanished, while the differences have increased.

For more information, please contact Menachem Butler (mbutler@law.harvard.edu)