Call for Papers: “Law as Religion, Religion as Law”

The Faculty of Law at Hebrew University seeks papers for an upcoming conference, Law as Religion, Religion as Law. Abstracts are due on October 26. The conference itself will be held on June 5-7, 2017. The University’s description of the event follows:

The conventional approach to the relationship between law and religion operates with the assumption that these are two discrete domains, which often clash with one another. This outlook animates public discourse about such basic topics and tropes as the freedom of religion and freedom from religion; religion and human rights; and the competing jurisdiction of civil and religious courts.

A dichotomous account, however, is not the only way to understand the intersection between law and religion. The “Law as Religion, Religion as Law” project will explore a different perspective that considers religion and law as two kinds of orientations or sensibilities; or two alternate ways of structuring reality. From this vantage point, religion and law share similar properties, and arguably have a more symbiotic relationship. Moreover, many legal systems exhibit religious characteristics, and most religions invoke legal categories or terminology. This suggestive blurring of categories is likewise worthy of further inquiry.

Scholars in multiple disciplines (including law, religious studies, philosophy, history, political science and other relevant fields) are invited to propose articles that explore “Law as Religion, Religion as Law,” from a variety of methods and orientations. All accepted abstracts will be invited to write articles and present their research at an international conference that will be held at Jerusalem, Israel, on June 5-7, 2017. Following the conference, the article drafts will be sent for peer review, and if accepted, will be published in a designated volume (published with a leading academic press). We will also accept submissions of article drafts for consideration for publication in this volume from scholars who cannot attend the international conference in Jerusalem.

Further details are available here.

Corbett, “Making Moderate Islam”

In November, Stanford University Press will release Making Moderate Islam: Sufism, Service, and the “Ground Zero Mosque” Controversy by Rosemary R. Corbett (Bard Prison Initiative). The publisher’s description follows:

Making Moderate IslamDrawing on a decade of research into the community that proposed the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” this book refutes the idea that current demands for Muslim moderation have primarily arisen in response to the events of 9/11, or to the violence often depicted in the media as unique to Muslims. Instead, it looks at a century of pressures on religious minorities to conform to dominant American frameworks for race, gender, and political economy. These include the encouraging of community groups to provide social services to the dispossessed in compensation for the government’s lack of welfare provisions in an aggressively capitalist environment. Calls for Muslim moderation in particular are also colored by racist and orientalist stereotypes about the inherent pacifism of Sufis with respect to other groups. The first investigation of the assumptions behind moderate Islam in our country, Making Moderate Islam is also the first to look closely at the history, lives, and ambitions of the those involved in Manhattan’s contested project for an Islamic community center.

Frisch, “The Danielic Discourse on Empire in Second Temple Literature”

In November, Brill Publishers will release The Danielic Discourse on Empire in Second Temple Literature, by Alexandria Frisch (Ursinus College). The publisher’s description follows:

Brill_logoIn The Danielic Discourse on Empire in Second Temple Literature, Alexandria Frisch asks: how did Jews in the Second Temple period understand the phenomenon of foreign empire? In answering this question, a remarkable trend reveals itself—the book of Daniel, which situates its narrative in an imperial context and apocalyptically envisions empires, was overwhelmingly used by Jewish writers when they wanted to say something about empires. This study examines Daniel, as well as antecedents to and interpretations of Daniel, in order to identify the diachronic changes in perceptions of empire during this period. Oftentimes, this Danielic discourse directly reacted to imperial ideologies, either copying, subverting, or adapting those ideologies. Throughout this study, postcolonial criticism, therefore, provides a hermeneutical lens through which to ask a second question: in an imperial context, is the Jewish conception of empire actually Jewish?