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LUCIS What's New lecture

Law and Sharia: A New Approach to the Historicity of Islamic Normativity (8th-19th centuries)

Thursday 18 April 2019
Free to visit, drinks after
What's New?! Spring Lecture Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

This lecture is the first in Christian Müller's conference cycle which presents a new vision of Islamic law and its history. The inaugural conference provides a framework of enquiry for how to study Islamic law. The method consists in a strictly chronological juxtaposition of dated literary and documentary sources on theory and practice of the law. By doing so, epistemological changes within the use of key terms and the evolution of “law” become visible. Starting with “Sharia”, the Arabic word commonly understood as “Sacred Law”, I reconstruct its various meanings, ranging from Koranic use, the “divinely normative path”, prophetical law to finally the jurists’ law. The changing notions of what “Sharia” might contain as legal rulings is identified as a key-issue within the evolution of Islamic legal thinking and law practice in pre-modern time. Source evidence from juridical texts and legal documents illustrate the argument.

About Christian Müller

Christian Müller (PhD Freie Universität Berlin 1997) is directeur de recherche (research professor) at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. Since 2004 he has acted as the head of the Arabic section of the Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes.

After his habilitation in Halle/Saale in 2007 he has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in many institutions in France and Germany. In 2015-2016 he taught at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München where he was visiting professor. His research interersts center on the practice of Islamic law in the pre-modern period with a special focus on fatwa literatures and legal documents. He is mainly interested in the doctrinal evolution of juridical casuistry within the framework of Islamic legal systems. From 2009 until 2013, he acted as principal investigator of the ERC project "Islamic Law Materialized" which focuses on the edition, categorization and analysis of Arabic legal documents dated from the eighth to the sixteenth centuries and gave rise to the online database Corpus of Arabic legal documents (CALD).

his lecture is also part of the What's New?! Spring Lecture Series 2019 organised by LUCIS and the department of Middle Eastern Studies.

What's New?! Spring Lecture Series 2019
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