To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter ventures into defining the Islamic legal tradition, its main characteristics as a legal tradition. Three main themes shed light on the nature of Islamic law historically. These themes are (1) legal pluralism, (2) legal determinacy, and (3) legal reform. While defining a tradition is hampered by its pluralism, legal determinacy allows for some stability and a better attempt at definition. I argue that in our conceptualization of the Islamic legal tradition we must incorporate the practice of law in the work of judges, rather than narrowly focusing on the black-letter discourse of jurists. It is this interaction, which is captured in several legal genres, that creates a stable legal system. In addition to the realist nature of this approach, it also promises to open up new possibilities for legal reform.
This Chapter appraises the range and depth of Patrick Glenn’s scholarly legacy by exploring some of the many lessons that can be drawn from his opus magnum Legal Traditions of the World. To this purpose, the chapter will focus on three key notions underlying Glenn’s chefs-d’œuvre: Law, Tradition, and Conciliation. The argument is that Glenn’s findings have in multiple ways enlightened the understanding of what the law is (outside and also inside the West), as well as the relentless dynamics within and between legal traditions. Through these findings, Glenn has also provided us – his friends, colleagues, readers – with a powerful intellectual tool to pursue his conciliatory dream towards a world of tolerance and diversity.
Much of Patrick Glenn’s contribution to comparative law took the form of macro-comparison. William Twining has offered important criticisms of the undue attention to micro-comparison in the Western comparative law tradition. He has encouraged the enterprise of constructing macro pictures of law in the world. Glenn’s work, especially Legal Traditions of the World, shows how macro-comparison can illustrate the way different legal traditions can operate in combinations and across national borders. This challenges the compartmentalized view of legal systems adopted by bodies like the World Bank. Glenn combines understanding of social culture and ideology with history and geography in his picture of law. All the same, micro-comparison has a significant contribution. Micro-comparison helps us to understand how legal systems really work. The robustness of macro-comparative analyses depends on their ability to be verified in the close examination of specific instances of legal systems that they are supposed to explain. Macro-comparison is typically an exercise of seeing patterns in specific instances and developing a theory that continues on that pattern. For most scholars, micro-comparison ensures feet are on the ground and the tools are the comparative trade are well honed before embarking on the macro-comparative enterprise.
This chapter argues that the relationship between tradition and change can be illuminated through a better understanding of how tradition is (re)produced. How do traditions emerge, how do appeals to tradition serve to justify decisions, and, in what ways does justifying a choice in terms of tradition exercises a constraint over the kind of decision that can be made? The first part of the chapter discusses Patrick Glenn's approach to these questions, as seen, for example, in his claim that tradition is 'massaged', always entails change, and cannot control its own boundaries. It then goes on to put his ideas to the test by examining a controversial Rabbinical innovation recorded in the Talmud; Hillel's introduction of the 'Prozbul' so as to secure loans that would otherwise have been cancelled each sabbatical year. A meta-analysis of how this institution has since been categorized by those within and outside the Talmudic tradition suggests that successful innovation depends on the ability of interpreters to convince the relevant audience(s) that it embodies the best efforts to continue the tradition. It concludes that anachronism may be the price we need to pay if fidelity to tradition is to be more than antiquarianism.
This chapter explicates, explores, and commends Patrick Glenn’s choice to recognize and emphasize the significance of tradition, his master concept for understanding law, in the workings of all legal orders. However, it does not share the evangelical enthusiasm that Glenn suggests should flow from this recognition. That enthusiasm is based, I argue, on a quite idiosyncratic and contestable conception of what traditions ‘truly’ involve, absent contingency or corruption. Glenn believes that recognizing the traditionality of legal orders allows us to see them as open to greater mutual recognition, tolerance, conciliatory living together, than we commonly recognize when we speak in other terms, say, of legal systems, cultures, families, and so forth. Without his excessively sunny conception of the nature of tradition as its foundation, however, a lot of the ‘conciliatory’ hopefulness so winning in Glenn’s writings seems to rest on shifting and uncertain ground. We should acknowledge that law is typically founded on and in traditions, that complex legal orders indeed typically are traditions, simply because these are facts, and important ones. I fear, however, that such acknowledgment will of itself do little to advance the mutual accommodations among legal and social orders that Glenn admirably favours.
The purpose of the discussion in this chapter is to suggest some cardinal changes to the practice of male circumcision in order to make it more humane and less painful to its subjects. Balancing between group rights and the rights of the child, it is essential to avoid unnecessary suffering. It is one of the liberal state’s obligations to protect the best interests of vulnerable third parties. The chapter opens with some preliminary data about male circumcision and then explains its importance in Judaism and in Islam. It examines the medical reasons for male circumcision and the risks involved in the practice; subsequently, it discusses the critique of male circumcision. The discussion also highlights the points of agreement and disagreement between those supporting and opposing the ritual and insists that male circumcision should be performed by using anaesthesia. The final part of the discussion includes a proposal for humane male circumcision that considers religious sentiments and the rights of the child, aiming to strike a reasonable balance between competing interests. The hope is that the proposal will be debated in parliaments in the Western world.
As a final comment on the outcomes of Thailand’s legal history, this chapter begins with a seemingly bizarre incident that occurred during Thai street protests in March 2010. Tens of thousands of rural demonstrators splashed their own blood on Bangkok’s public buildings to curse the ruling government and its legal and political institutions. An explanation of the demonstrators’ controversial actions is found in their reaction against efforts of the central Thai ruling elite over the past century to modernize Thai law, rationalize its religious administration, and eliminate rival systems in outlying regions. These efforts, in turn, are placed in the context of a centuries-old tradition of law, kingship, and religious purification through which Thai rulers centralized their power and demonstrated their legitimacy. The street protests in 2010 represented a failed attempt by rural workers simultaneously to claim their place in the Thai nation and to challenge its hegemony, to assert their rights under modern law, and to invoke pre-modern legal norms and identities.
Why speak of ‘reception’ in classical antiquity, rather than ‘allusion’ or ‘intertextuality’? This chapter begins by assessing the reasons for the emergence of the term reception in the scholarship of the last thirty years, identifying (a) a shift away from unilateral models of ‘influence’; (b) a postmodern promotion of the status of the ‘copy’; (c) a pedagogical need for multiplication of access points into the ancient world. But the idea of ‘reception’ has been applied primarily to post-antique cultures: why? Speaking of reception helps us break down the idea that antiquity itself was sealed off from later cultures, and that it was a homogeneous monoculture through which a single, cohesive tradition ran. It puts the emphasis on discontinuity, and the specificity and idiosyncrasy of each act of receiving; such acts can therefore be understood as ‘theorisations’ of the idea of tradition. This approach to literary history creates an equivalence between all receptions, however apparently ‘central’ or ‘marginal’. It also spotlights the political embeddedness and materiality of each act of reception. The chapter closes by considering how the volume’s contributions further this agenda.
Arguing against the prevalence of a “religion and politics” discourse, this chapter discusses some of the ways in which this duality, while being constantly constructed and deconstructed, affirmed and violated, functions to enable the nation-state to act on racial logic, while preserving its self-image as enlightened, secular, and liberal. The chapter focuses on the Israeli case, and more specifically the ways in which the theopolitics of the state correspond with Jewish traditions. It argues that the admittedly murky yet persistent sense of a fundamental distinction between matters that are secular and of the state’s and matters that are religious and are not of the state’s, which dominates the political (and, to a large degree, also the social-scientific) discourse in Israel, functions to allow the state to be principally based on a racial logic of belonging and Otherness, while celebrating itself as democratic, liberal, and enlightened (as is “naturally expected” from a secular, or at least “not-religious,” entity). This is enabled by a division of labor that puts the “burden” of maintaining and applying the racially-logical criteria of inclusion and exclusion – which is vital for the state’s upholding of its very raison d'être – on the “religious” (people, institutions, parties, and so on).
Beginning with a striking passage in which the Sibylline narrator asserts her intellectual ownership of Homer’s work, I point out its Theogonic framing, before surveying other thematic and stylistic invocations of Hesiod across the Sibylline corpus. I argue that Hesiod, without being named, is given programmatic importance as a Classicizing alternative to Homeric authority and wisdom. I then distinguish three strategies of Sibylline transformation of Biblical material in Homeric colouring into apocalyptic visions: amplification of scenes of destruction, cosmic revision of individual action, and the countering of heroic epic values with monotheistic principles. In each of these, ideas of ‘the Hesiodic’ generated by its ancient reception provide a cipher for the critique of the Homeric cosmos implied by Sibylline rewriting of Jewish and Christian scriptures in the direction of universal history. I conclude by offering comparanda for future studies.
This chapter explores the submerged yet generative relationship of influence between the poetries of Louis MacNeice (1907-63) and Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) – two major Northern Irish poets of very different backgrounds and primary aesthetic dispositions. Notwithstanding their respective signature identifications with modernity, flux and hybridity on the one hand and tradition, continuity and community on the other, the chapter proposes that Heaney turns to MacNeice in order to seek out new directions for his own growth as artist. The chapter centrally argues that these two poets share a common concern with renewing the relationship between immutable reality and the alterity of dream-life. In consequence, their engagements with territorial conflict lead both poets to open vital space for non-conformity with the totalizing logic of enforced national destiny. Within this space, MacNeice and Heaney offer a linked vision of creativity renewed rather than foreclosed through recognizing human frailty in the face of mortality.
In lectures and interviews, Seamus Heaney spoke candidly and revealingly about the influence of T.S. Eliot on his poetry and poetics. There was never an immediate or instinctive allegiance; rather, it was an acquired taste, a matter of having to ‘grow up’ to Eliot. Eliot’s essays shaped Heaney’s own prose writings in the early 1970s and Eliot’s idea of the ‘auditory imagination’ had a profound effect on his critical methods. Increasingly, Eliot’s example in Four Quartets gave sustenance to Heaney’s poetry. ‘Little Gidding’ came to be seen by Heaney as an exemplary instance of how the imagination might endure the destruction of war, while the mystical qualities of Four Quartets helped to shape the visionary poetics of Seeing Things. In the later work, Eliot’s presence is pervasive and subtly assimilated, often manifesting itself in Heaney’s adaptations of Virgil and Dante.
This chapter consists of three sections. First, I analyze PIJ’s view of the state as outlined in its political philosophy with the perceived need to control it. I then proceed to analyze the constituents of the state, the political and democratic processes as outlined by PIJ, and the framework in which these processes take place. We see that there are inherent democratic deficiencies and limitations to its outline of a just society. The future society of PIJ can, at best, be described as one that is non-liberal, yet rights based. Third, after assessing the conception of a just society, I conclude this chapter by arguing that PIJ’s desire to return to a perceived ideal past is reflected in its analysis of violence, which is of a conservative nature.
Chapter 5 brings to the fore Manasses’ activities as a teacher in Constantinople and focuses on the so-called Astrological poem, the Origins of Oppian and five grammar exercises, known as schede, attributed to Manasses. Dedicated to Sebastokratorissa Eirene, the Astrological poem offers a basic introduction to the workings of the stars and planets along with the zodiac. While the Astrological poem may seem to teach rather untraditional knowledge, the Origins of Oppian and the schede express the very basis of Byzantine education: grammar, Christianity and the ancient heritage. The Origins of Oppian at the same time contains references to Manasses’ own situation as a writer on commission, offering yet another important connection between patronage and education. The schede are all on Christian topics, drawing attention to the significance of hagiographical and biblical texts as a complement to the ancient heritage, and for comparative reasons the Sketches of the mouse is brought into the discussion.
Chapter 7, the concluding chapter, discusses the literary production of Manasses in light of the observations made in the close readings throughout the monograph. Returning to the theoretical considerations of the functions of occasional literature, special attention is here devoted to certain aspects of Manasses’ production: the recycling of Graeco-Roman and biblical material and his own verses within and across genres. The economy of reusing motifs, words, expressions and verses is considered from the perspective of occasional literature written on commission or in the hope of achieving commissions, but also from an aesthetic viewpoint. The ways in which Manasses comments upon his own situation as a writer and inscribes his own authorship into his texts are seen as the conscious creation of an individual voice, but also as a reflection of the Komnenian trend towards poetic self-assertiveness.
Prior to the dialogue on Easter morning that forms the major part of this work, the Epistula Apostolorum includes a sequence of seven stories of Jesus’ miracles. Since this text also includes references to his birth and his ascension, its scope is comparable to that of the Gospel of Luke, in contrast to other so-called ‘dialogue gospels’, which focus exclusively on post-Easter appearances of the risen Lord. Skilfully integrated into its context within the Epistula, the miracle sequence opens with a story from Jesus’ childhood also attested in non-canonical sources, here illustrating a Christology which differentiates the pre-existent from the incarnate Christ. This is followed by a version of the water-into-wine story that seems to preserve pre-Johannine features, challenging the assumption that Jesus traditions in non-canonical sources always postdate and depend upon their canonical versions. Other miracles recounted in this group of stories shows awareness of synoptic traditions, although substantial redactional elements are also present.
In Ambrose’s apologetic writing against the Roman prefect Symmachus, he makes a surprising argument for Christianity’s superiority over Roman religious practices, arguing that Christianity is in fact a newer and therefore superior form of religion. The whole world has “progressed” and so must religious practices. In the letters to Symmachus, Ambrose’s arguments are ad hoc and apologetic, not constructive. This article seeks to understand better the intellectual and historical contexts that make Ambrose’s surprising convictions possible by looking at Ambrose’s writings on creation in the context of the pro-Nicene debates. Considering Ambrose’s writing in the Hexameron, I argue that Ambrose’s account of cosmological progress finds an intellectual milieu in pro-Nicene reflection on the implications of Christ’s divine consubstantiality for a doctrine of creation. When Christ is no longer seen as a mediator between God and the world, a new space is opened up to speak of creation’s change and even “progress” without a worry that doing so will jeopardize creation as the divine handiwork. Ambrose’s apologetic strategy, though apparently not directly related to pro-Nicene debates, is illuminated when seen against this backdrop. The result is a better understanding both of Ambrose’s strategies in particular and of the situation of fourth-century apologetics more broadly.
The Council Fathers at Vatican II struggled to negotiate the Council's teaching on divine revelation with regard to the teaching of Trent, but more immediately with regard to the modern theology of the Magisterium and the modern value of historical criticism that had recently been recognized by Pius XII as having a legitimate role in the interpretation of Scripture. Dei Verbum's teaching stressed the unity of Scripture and tradition in the revelation of God's word, but never considered the role of historical criticism in the interpretation of God's word in tradition that it affirmed in God's revelation in the biblical word. This article argues that the recognition of the legitimate role of historical criticism in the interpretation of tradition remains an issue of needed development in the teaching of Dei Verbum.
With reference to an impressive range of examples from across European genres and repertoires, Suzanne Aspden illustrates ways in which dance has been embodied within Western ‘art’ music. Exploding the myth of ‘the music itself’, Aspden notes a significant historical swing in both aesthetics and compositional practice during the nineteenth century, as musical representations of dance gradually morphed from being overtly ornamental and elaborate to more straightforwardly transparent in their dependence upon a long-established vocabulary of musical topics. While tracing this historical shift, Aspden offers a nuanced critical commentary on some of the shop-worn assumptions about dance that have marked traditional textbook histories of European music, especially negative associations between dance and the anti-intellectual, the ‘low’, the feminine and the ‘Other’.