From SSRN’s list of most frequently downloaded law and religion papers posted in the last 60 days, here are the current top five. Since last week, Wenger has remained #1, Balkin has remained #2, Laycock and Berg have remained #3, Willis has risen to #4, and Gaylord has been replaced by Vischer:
1. ‘The Divine Institution of Marriage’: An Overview of LDS Involvement in the Proposition 8 Campaign by Kaimipono David Wenger (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) [523 downloads]
2. Must We Be Faithful to Original Meaning? by Jack M. Balkin (Yale U. – Law School) [221 downloads]
3. Protecting Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty by Douglas Laycock (U. of Virginia School of Law) and Thomas C. Berg (U. of St. Thomas School of Law) [185 downloads]
4. Taxes and Religion: The Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Cases by Steven J. Willis (U. of Florida) [127 downloads]
5. Do For-Profit Businesses Have Free Exercise Rights? by Robert K. Vischer (U. of St. Thomas) [101 downloads]
This August, Lexington Books will publish Reflections on Religion, the Divine, and the Constitution by George Anastaplo (Loyola U. of Chicago). The publisher’s description follows.
In Part One, the uses of divine revelation in the Western world are reviewed by recalling authors that include Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Plato, Maimonides, Cervantes, Hobbes, and Milton. The challenges posed by such monstrosities as Aztec human sacrifices and the Second World War Holocaust are recalled.
In Part Two, the challenges of religion for and by Americans are examined. Documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of 1787, and Presidential Farewell Addresses are recalled. The lives and thought of eminent Americans are also recalled (including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln). Recalled as well are such movements as that of the Mormons and that of the “I Am” sect. The implications both for religious developments and for religious orthodox of modern science are investigated.
The Appendices reinforce these inquiries by providing reminders of how distinguished commentators and others have tried to deal with critical questions noticed in the Essays of this book.
In July, Edward Elgar Publishing will publish Modern Perspectives on Islamic Law by Ann Black (TC Beirne School of Law), Hossein Esmaeili (Flinders Law School) and Nadirsyah Hosen (U. of Wollongong). The publisher’s description follows.
This well-informed book explains, reflects on and analyses Islamic law, not only in the classical legal tradition of Shari’a, but also its modern, contemporary context. The book explores the role for Islamic law in secular Western nations and reflects on the legal system of Islam in its classical context as applied in its traditional homeland of the Middle East and also in South East Asia. Written by three leading scholars from three different backgrounds: a Muslim in the Sunni tradition, a Muslim in the Shia tradition, and a non-Muslim woman – the book is not only unique, but also enriched by differing insights into Islamic law. Sir William Blair provides the foreword to book which acknowledges that Islam continues to play a vital role not just in the Middle East but across the wider world, the discussion on which the authors embark is a crucial one. The book starts with an analysis of the nature of Islamic law, its concepts, meaning and sources, as well as its development in different stages of Islamic history. This is followed by accounts of how Islamic law is being practised today. Key modern institutions are discussed, such as the parliament, judiciary, dar al-ifta, political parties, and other important organisations. It continues by analysing some key concepts in our modern times: nation state, citizenship, ummah, dhimmah (recognition of the status of certain non-Muslims in Islamic states), and the rule of law. The book investigates how in recent times, more and more fatwas are issued collectively rather than emanating from an individual scholar. The authors then evaluate how Islamic law deals with family matters, economics, crime, property and alternative dispute resolution. Lastly, the book revisits certain contemporary issues of debate in Islamic law such as burqa, halal food, riba (interest) and apostasy. Modern Perspectives on Islamic Law will become a standard scholarly text on Islamic law. Its wide-ranging coverage will appeal to researchers and students of Islamic law, or Islamic studies in general. Legal Practitioners will also be interested in the comparative aspects of Islamic law presented in this book.