The SHARIAsource LabThis semester, we made strides in the SHARIAsource Lab in parsing legal canons works in ways accessible to researchers interested in new ways to access these older texts. Scholars, data scientists, and students have collaborated in the Lab on various aspects of our core suite of applications and tools: SHARIAsource-Analytics, SHARIAsource-Metadata, and SEARCHstrata. The primary task this semester has been on piloting canons-tracking search tools with an eye to tracing Islamic legal canons (qawāʿid fiqhiyya) as memes across various works of history and law. For example, one text-analytics tool I a ’variants matcher,’ which facilitates the identification and pairing (or disambiguating) of Islamic legal canons from one canons collection with those from another collection. Through this matching and unmatching process, we will be able to train a text analytics tool to automatically recognize variants to increasingly high degree of alignment with researcher’s intuitions. Additionally, we are enriching the metadata of our corpus of primary sources by adding biographical, geographical, contextual, and citational information to each source. Stay tuned for more and, in the meantime, check out some publications that summarize our previous lab work!
CONTENT: Expanded Online Companion to Text and Interpretation We take the opportunity at the end of the semester to highlight our recent publications and interactive tools. One aim of SHARIAsource is to provide access to primary and secondary sources of Islamic law to support research on salient issues of Islamic law and history. We expanded the Online Companion to Text and Interpretation: Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq and His Legacy in Islamic Law, a supplement to the 2022 print book by Professor Hossein Modarressi (Princeton University), with nearly a hundred sources, including excerpts from al-Jawharī’s Musnad al-Muwaṭṭaʾ, Ibn Bābawayh’s Khiṣāl, al-Kashshī’s Rijāl. This companion serves as a resource for readers interested in deeper exploration of the book by including access to some of the chapters as well as a large selection of primary source materials referenced throughout the book. Explore the collection today!
CONTEXT: Maps of The Life and Legacy of Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq Professor Hossein Modarressi‘s print edition of Text and Interpretation: Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq and His Legacy in Islamic Law (Harvard University Press, 2022) examines the main characteristics of the legal thought of Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq, the Sixth Imām of the mainstream Shīʿī community and a preeminent religious scholar-jurist living and teaching in Medina in the mid-eighth century CE. While previous literature has focused on the current status of the school in its developed and expanded form, this book presents an intellectual history of how the school began. As part of the online companion, we’ve created historical and modern maps on the “The Life and Legacy of Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq” which relates to places where Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq lived, visited, or that are otherwise associated with him. Start exploring to see what these sites looked like historically!
Posted on December 08, 2023