Goldfeder, “Legalizing Plural Marriage”

In November, Brandeis University Press will release “Legalizing Plural Marriage: The Next Frontier in Family Law” by Mark Goldfeder (Emory University School of Law). The publisher’s description follows:

Polygamous marriages are currently recognized in nearly fifty countries worldwide. Although polygamy is technically illegal in the United States, it is practiced by members of some religious communities and a growing number of other “poly” groups. In the radically changing and increasingly multicultural world in which we live, the time has come to define polygamous marriage and address its legal feasibilities.

Although Mark Goldfeder does not argue the right or wrong of plural marriage, he maintains that polygamy is the next step—after same-sex marriage—in the development of U.S. family law. Providing a road map to show how such legalization could be handled, he explores the legislative and administrative arguments which demonstrate that plural marriage is not as farfetched—or as far off—as we might think. Goldfeder argues not only that polygamy is in keeping with the legislative values and freedoms of the United States, but also that it would not be difficult to manage or administrate within our current legal system. His legal analysis is enriched throughout with examples of plural marriage in diverse cultural and historical contexts.

Tackling the issue of polygamy in the United States from a legal perspective, this book will engage anyone interested in constitutional law, family law, or criminal law, along with sociologists and those who study gender and culture in modern times.

Barazangi, “Woman’s Identity and Rethinking the Hadith”

In November, Ashgate will release “Woman’s Identity and Rethinking the Hadith” by Nimat Hafez Barazangi (Cornell University). The publisher’s description follows:

The Prophet Muhammad’s reported traditions have evolved significantly to affect the social, cultural, and political lives of all Muslims. Though centuries of scholarship were spent on the authentication and trustworthiness of the narrators, there has been less study focused on the contents of these narratives, known as Hadith or Sunnah, and their corroboration by the Qur`an.

This book is a first step in a comprehensive attempt to contrast Hadith with the Qur`an in order to uncover some of the unjust practices by Muslims concerning women and gender issues. Using specific examples the author helps the reader appreciate and understand the magnitude of the problem. It is argued that the human rights and the human development of Muslim women will not progress in a meaningful and sustainable manner until the Hadith is re-examined in a fresh new approach from within the Islamic framework, shifting the discourse in understanding Islam from a dogmatic religious law to a religio-moral rational worldview.