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date: 18 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that Jewish law’s distinctive nature is constructed from the ancient to the modern period in the midst of a complex, competing world of plural legalism. It examines how Jewish law appropriated, resisted, and oddly conserved, sometimes while claiming as its own, other forms of legalism—such as Roman or modern law—to create the impression of being a legal other. It also considers two contemporary trends in Jewish law: the stalled—perhaps even failed—attempt to deploy Jewish law as a foundational legal system for the modern Israeli state and, secondly, the project of mining traditional religious Jewish law for its non-parochial, broadly conceptual jurisprudential principles.

Keywords: legal history, Jewish law, plural legalism, Roman law, modern law, Israel, religious law

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