"Understanding Islamic Law"
February 26, 2011
Can we understand the times we live in without some understanding of Islamic law? At this lunch, students joined Christopher Melchert in an informal discussion of the origins and evolution of Islamic law and its intersection with secular law in contemporary, complex, and diverse societies. Professor Melchert is University Lecturer in Arabic and Islam at the Oriental Institute and a Fellow of Pembrook College at the University of Oxford, England. He is one of the leading experts on Islamic law, focusing on the formation of Islamic legal traditions and on the early Hanbali school. His 1997 book on Formation of the Sunni Schools of Law 9th and 10th Centuries, C.E. has already become a modern classic. He has also written on crime and punishment in Islamic law from the 16th to the 21st century, martyrdom in Islam, and many other topics related to Islam He holds a PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania. While on campus, Professor Melchert delivered a Branigin lecture sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study, Thursday, Feb. 24, 4 p.m., in the Wright Education Building 1120 (201 N. Rose Avenue) on "Agreeing to Disagree (or Not): the Shaping of Islam in the Early Middle Ages." The lunch was co-sponsored by the Wells Scholars Program.