In May, Cambridge University Press will release Great Christian Jurists in English History edited by R.H. Helmholz (University of Chicago) and Mark Hill (FTB Chambers). The publisher’s description follows:
The Great Christian Jurists series comprises a library of national volumes of detailed biographies of leading jurists, judges and practitioners, assessing the impact of their Christian faith on the professional output of the individuals studied. Little has previously been written about the faith of the great judges who framed and developed the English common law over centuries, but this unique volume explores how their beliefs were reflected in their judicial functions. This comparative study, embracing ten centuries of English law, draws some remarkable conclusions as to how Christianity shaped the views of lawyers and judges. Adopting a long historical perspective, this volume also explores the lives of judges whose practice in or conception of law helped to shape the Church, its law or the articulation of its doctrine.
Last month, Palgrave Macmillan released “Medieval Religion and its Anxieties: History and Mystery in the Middles Ages,” by Thomas Fudgé (University of New England). The publisher’s description follows:
This book examines the broad varieties of religious belief, religious practices, and the influence of religion within medieval society. Religion in the Middle Ages was not monolithic. Medieval religion and the Latin Church are not synonymous. While theology and liturgy are important, an examination of animal trials, gargoyles, last judgments, various aspects of the medieval underworld, and the quest for salvation illuminate lesser known dimensions of religion in the Middle Ages. Several themes run throughout the book including visual culture, heresy and heretics, law and legal procedure, along with sexuality and an awareness of mentalities and anxieties. Although an expanse of 800 years has passed, the remains of those other Middle Ages can be seen today, forcing us to reassess our evaluations of this alluring and often overlooked past.
On November 8, the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), jointly with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, will host a conference titled “Freedom of Religion or Belief: Promoting Peaceful Coexistence Through Human Rights” at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Rome. A brief description of the event follows:
IDLO jointly with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will organize a half-day conference on “Freedom of Religion or Belief: Promoting Peaceful Coexistence Through Human Rights” to discuss the role of the rule of law in enabling the right to freedom of religion or belief.
The event will mark the launch of IDLO’s report Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Law: Current Dilemmas and Lessons Learned, a study offering informed reflections on the critical importance of religious tolerance in contributing to respect for other human rights, strengthening good governance and the rule of law, and enabling peaceful coexistence.
IDLO’s report intends to contribute to the public debate by showing that just and equitable rule of law frameworks are an essential requirement for societies to safeguard the right to freedom of religion or belief, and to balance this right fairly with other rights and interests. Strong legal frameworks can also help to reduce the capacity of extremist organizations to draw public support and legitimacy from politicized religious rhetoric.
The conference will take place during the morning of Tuesday 8 November 2016 at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Rome. The event is scheduled to start at 9.30am and will close at 12.30pm.
IDLO’s new report Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Law: Current Dilemmas and Lessons Learned will be distributed to participants during the conference.
Working languages: English and Italian (with simultaneous translation)
Event participation is by invitation only.
More information on the event can be found here.
In May, Routledge will release “Religion as Empowerment: Global Legal Perspectives,” edited by Kyriaki Topidi (University of Lucerne) and Lauren Fielder (University of Texas). The publisher’s description follows:
This volume shows how and why legal empowerment is important for those exercising their religious rights under various jurisdictions, in conditions of legal pluralism. At the same time, it also questions the thesis that as societies become more modern, they also become less religious.
The authors look beyond the rule of law orthodoxy in their consideration of the freedom of religion as a human right and place this discussion in a more plurality-sensitive context. The book sheds more light on the informal and/or customary mechanisms that explain the limited impact of law on individuals and groups, especially in non-Western societies. The focus is on discussing how religion and the exercise of religious rights may or may not empower individuals and social groups and improve access to human rights in general.
This book is important reading for academics and practitioners of law and religion, religious rights, religious diversity and cultural difference, as well as NGOs, policy makers, lawyers and advocates at multicultural jurisdictions. It offers a contemporary take on comparative legal studies, with a distinct focus on religion as an identity marker.
Next month, Cambridge University Press will release “Excommunication for Debt in Late Medieval France: The Business of Salvation” by Tyler Lange (University of California, Berkeley). The publisher’s description follows:
Late medieval church courts frequently excommunicated debtors at the request of their creditors. Tyler Lange analyzes over 11,000 excommunications between 1380 and 1530 in order to explore the forms, rhythms, and cultural significance of the practice. Three case studies demonstrate how excommunication for debt facilitated minor transactions in an age of scarce small-denomination coinage and how interest-free loans and sales credits could be viewed as encouraging the relations of charitable exchange that were supposed to exist between members of Christ’s body. Lange also demonstrates how from 1500 or so believers gradually turned away from the practice and towards secular courts, at the same time as they retained the moralized, economically irrational conception of indebtedness we have yet to shake. The demand-driven rise and fall of excommunication for debt reveals how believers began to reshape the institutional Church well before Martin Luther posted his theses.
In April, Nordic Academic Press will release “Reconsidering Religion, Law, and Democracy: New challenges for Society and Research” edited by Anna-Sara Lind, Mia Lövheim, and Ulf Zackariasson (all from Uppsala University, Sweden). The publisher’s description follows:
How are Western, mostly secular, societies handling religion in its increasingly pluralistic and complex forms? In Reconsidering Religion, Law, and Democracy the authors study the interaction and negotiations between religious organizations and religious citizens on the one hand, and the state, the judicial system, the media, and secular citizens on the other.
Religion has become increasingly visible in contemporary society and is, more often than before, recognized as a public matter and not merely a private issue. As such it presents new challenges or opportunities to scholarly research and to society at large. The contributors to this volume shed light on what follows when expressions of religion meet different spheres of society.
The authors explicitly point to the need to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the roles played by religion in society today. By presenting case studies, fresh perspectives and new questions they suggest that deeper knowledge is best achieved by further, increasingly nuanced interdisciplinary research.
In November, Brill will release “Legal Maxims in Islamic Criminal Law: Theory and Applications” by Luqman Zakariyah (International Islamic University Malaysia). The publisher’s description follows:
Using contemporary illustrations, Legal Maxims in Islamic Criminal Law delves into the theoretical and practical studies of al-Qawaid al-Fiqhiyyah in Islamic legal theory. It elucidates the importance of this concept in the application of Islamic law and demonstrates how the concept relates to the objectives of Islamic law (maqāṣid al-Sharī‘ah), generally. Included in this examination are the following maxims: al-Umūr bi-Maqāṣidihā (“Matters shall be Judged by their Objectives”); al-Yaqīn lā Yazūl bi-sh-Shakk (“Certainty Cannot be Overruled by Doubt”); al-Mashaqqa Tajlib at-Taysīr (“Hardship begets Facility”); Lā Ḍarar wa-lā Ḍirār (“No Injury or Harm shall be Inflicted or Reciprocated”); and al-ʿĀda Muḥakkama (“Custom is Authoritative”).