This month, Cambridge University Press releases a new, paperback edition of The Spirit of Hindu Law by Donald R. Davis Jr. (University of Wisconsin-Madison). The publishers description follows.
Law is too often perceived solely as state-based rules and institutions that provide a rational alternative to religious rites and ancestral customs. The Spirit of Hindu Law, first published in 2010, uses the Hindu legal tradition as a heuristic tool to question this view and reveal the close linkage between law and religion. Emphasizing the household, the family, and everyday relationships as additional social locations of law, it contends that law itself can be understood as a theology of ordinary life. An introduction to traditional Hindu law and jurisprudence, this book is structured around key legal concepts such as the sources of law and authority, the laws of persons and things, procedure, punishment and legal practice. It combines investigation of key themes from Sanskrit legal texts with discussion of Hindu theology and ethics, as well as thorough examination of broader comparative issues in law and religion.