Islamicate Legal Theory: A Text Workshop

For Current Fellows
Thursday, April 28, 2022
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM EDT

Katz Center
420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106


This one-day in-person workshop brings together scholars of the medieval Islamic world to share legal theoretical sources in Arabic and Judeo-Arabic. In light of the growing scholarly understanding of the legal discourse that crossed inter- and intrareligious boundaries in the Islamicate Mediterranean, this workshop aims to further conversations between scholars of medieval Islam and medieval Judaism who work on similarly situated material. It underscores the common theoretical understandings of revealed law put forward by the jurists who gave shape to medieval Judaism and Islam.

The workshop is comprised of four presentations of primary sources, in original languages and in translation. Two of the presentations will be from scholars of medieval Islamic law and two from scholars from medieval Jewish law. Specialists of Islamic and Jewish law will share texts of legal theory and invite others, specialists and nonspecialists, to reflect on their content, argument, and purpose, among other features.

Registration is limited, contact Marc Herman if you are interested in participating.



10:00 am
Welcoming Remarks: Natalie B. Dohrmann, Associate Director of the Katz Center


10:15 am
Jessica Andruss, University of Virginia
Crime and Punishment in an Arabic Bible Commentary


11:15 am Break


11:30 am
Feliticas Opwis, Georgetown University
From Ethical to Legal Norms in al-Mughnī of ʿAbd al-Jabbār (d. 415/1025)


12:30 pm Lunch


1:15 pm
Marion Holmes Katz, New York University
Why You Should Follow al-Shāfiʿī: The Temporality of Islamic Legal Authority in the “Tafḍīl Madhhab al- Shāfiʿī” of Imām al-Ḥaramayn al-Juwaynī (d. 478 AH/1085 CE)


2:15 pm Break


2:45 pm
Y. Zvi Stampfer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Katz Center
Treatise on the Abrogation of the Law by Samuel b. Hofni Gaon (d. 1012)



Event Program