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Mergen S. Ulanov, Valeriy N. Badmaev and Edward C. Holland

historiography of the Manchu period (Elverskog 2006). This article considers the role of Buddhism as a religious worldview in the formulation of secular law among the Kalmyks. 2 The Kalmyks incorporated elements from the ancient civilisations of Tibet, China and India into their traditions, including their

Russell Powell

Nicholas Howe, Landscapes of the Secular: Law, Religion, and American Sacred Space . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. Hardcover. 248 pages. $ 40. ISBN  9780226376776. Americans are wont to see landscape as sacred. Yet there are myriad competing concepts of the “sacred,” and in a nation

Ron S. Kleinman

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/157007011X564832 The Review of Rabbinic Judaism 14 (2011) 11–36 Civil Law as Custom: Jewish Law and Secular Law—Do They Diverge or Converge? Ron S. Kleinman Law School, Ono Academic College, Kiryat Ono, Israel rkleinman

Luísa Maria Flora

‘When a court determines any question with respect to (…) the upbringing of a child (…) the child’s welfare shall be the court’s paramount consideration.’ By choosing as the epigraph for his short 2014 novel the very first clause of the 1989 Children Act, Ian McEwan immediately states one of this fiction’s central themes. Fiona Maye, on duty High Court Judge, Family Division, is called on a vital matter. She has to rule on an urgent hospital request to transfuse a seventeen year old Jehovah’s Witness, Adam Henry, who, resolute on following his parents’ and his own creed, is refusing treatment that may give him a reasonable chance of cure. It is the doctors’ duty to keep him alive. Only an adult patient has the choice of refusing treatment. In this case the judge is bound by the law to enforce the Act and decide in the young man’s best interests. Fiona knows that ‘it was no business of the secular court to decide between religious beliefs or theological differences.’ The judge has to consider how mature he really is, how the sanctity of life the Act aims at protecting intersects with Adam’s declared eagerness to offer his life as a martyr for his faith. The (underlying) conflict between the lay courts and genuinely held religious belief is yet another instance of McEwan’s persistent fictional handling of key contemporary issues in which public and private lives and interests (seem to) collide. The conscientious experienced judge is, once again, confronting a tremendously difficult moral equation, to give judgement she will have to make ‘the intimate intervention of the secular court’. While creating this fiction McEwan persistently addresses transhistorical ethical issues. And, at fifty-nine, Fiona eventually learns that life can be far messier than she had ever realized.

Between Betrothal and Bedding

Marriage Formation in Sweden 1200-1600


Mia Korpiola

Swedish medieval marriage formation was a process, written down in the secular laws. However, it started to evolve because of the interaction with the medieval Catholic marriage doctrine, which focused on mutual words of consent. Although first the canon law of marriage, and then Lutheran marriage dogma influenced the Swedish development, the perception of marriage as a process, consisting of several legal acts and accompanied by property transfers, proved remarkably resilient. The pragmatic and rural character of Sweden contributed to this, despite pressure from canon and Roman law and attempts at bringing marriage formation under ecclesiastical control. Marrying by stages was in itself unremarkable in Europe, but the legal foundation and formality make medieval and sixteenth-century Sweden a unique case study.


Per Andersen

This book offers a comprehensive examination of how the Fourth Lateran Council’s prohibition against trial by ordeal was implemented in Danish secular law and how it required both a fundamental restructuring of legal procedure and an entirely different approach to jurisprudence in practice. It offers a broader understanding of how ideology could penetrate and change jurisprudence firstly by changing the norms, secondly by presupposing new kind of legal institutions. Rather than focusing on pure dogmatics, this investigation will focus on uncovering the ideological character of procedure with regard to how those learned in law and those holding political power thought that jurisprudence needed to be constructed in order to ensure that justice was done in medieval Denmark.

Johannes van der Ven

distinction between the domains of status demarcation, that refers to entering and belonging to a community, and property distribution, that relates to the rights and duties implicit in these social bonds. Th e former may be provided for by religious law, the later, by secular law. However, the question is

Ahmed Hamdy Tawfik

system, which are widely applied throughout diff erent parts of Afghanistan, and seeks to identify their relationship between Islamic and secular laws and whether they are consistent with Islamic Shari ‛ ah. Keywords court’s jurisprudence, traditional system, apostasy, rape, adultery, suspension of ḥ udūd


Edited by Robert W. Thomson

This Lawcode is the first Armenian legal text to cover secular as well as ecclesiastical matters. Although the Armenians had been concerned with canon law since the fifth century, secular law was not codified until Greater Armenia was under Muslim domination. Mxit'ar Gosh began his work in 1184 in an attempt to provide Armenians with a comprehensive code based on traditional practice. He did not use the Greek and Syrian lawcodes that were being translated into Armenian during his lifetime. Mxit'ar's code formed the basis for all later Armenian lawcodes, both that of Smbat in Cilican Armenia and those adaptations used in the diaspora farther afield.
This lawcode has never before been translated into any western language. The commentary identifies Mxit'ar's sources, and the introduction places his work in its historical and literary contexts. This book will be of particular interest to historians of the Near East in medieval times, to scholars of Armenian literature, and all those interested in Eastern Christian culture.