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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a partial sketch of recent Islamic legal historiography in the West, with modest suggestions for future research. It suggests that historical research on Islamic law is a burgeoning field facing many of the political and normative challenges of scholarship in Islamic studies more generally. It would behove this field to confront these challenges more directly both by acknowledging them and by recognizing how they influence the contemporary writing of historiography. In turn, it is important to resist allowing contemporary politics to dictate the borders and content of historical research on Islamic law. With a wide array of sources and questions that have not yet been investigated thoroughly, historical research on Islamic law is a field that will continue to grow and to transform in unpredictable ways.

Keywords: legal history, religious law, Islamic law, Islamic legal historiography, historical research

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