Shari’a in the Secular State: Evolving Meanings of Islamic Jurisprudence in Turkey
Russell Powell, Associate Provost for Global Engagement, Professor of Law
Words in both law and religion can shape power relationships and are often highly disputed. Shari`a lies within the overlap of these two spheres and provides a unique subject for the study of meaning in that liminal space. This book contributes important insights related to Islamic jurisprudence and secularism in the Turkish context and regarding the role of language in contested legal and religious contexts.
The study begins by providing a historical framework for the ideas and terms covered, including concepts of religion in general, Shari`a in particular, and secularism in the Turkish state. It goes on to examine empirical research to describe and analyze contemporary Turkish understandings of religion and Shari`a. The author’s research indicates that there is often a disconnect between supporting the adoption of Shari`a and supporting the regulation of everyday behavior through civil codes. Thus, “Shari`a” seems to have taken on new meanings as groups have sought either to appropriate or criticize it. It is a quintessential example of fractured and contextual meaning at the center of both religious and legal traditions.
This book is essential reading for both academics and those interested in law, linguistics, history, political science, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, or Near Eastern studies. – From the Publisher
As your finals wrap up, don’t forget that the difficult period for your professor is just beginning–grading!
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, so check out the faculty profiles on the Seattle University School of Law website to see what our faculty has accomplished.
And, for a bit of fun, summer reading inspiration, check out the faculty reads posters! Here’s a taste:
Mea Culpa: Lessons on Law and Regret from U.S. History
Steven W. Bender, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
SU Law Library LAW-Display (KF4749.B39 2015 )
“In Mea Culpa, Steven W. Bender examines how the United States’ collective shame about its past has shaped the evolution of law and behavior. We regret slavery and segregationist Jim Crow laws. We eventually apologize, while ignoring other oppressions, and our legal response to regret often fails to be transformative for the affected groups. By examining policies and practices that have affected the lives of groups that have been historically marginalized and oppressed, Bender is able to draw persuasive connections between shame and its eventual legal manifestations. Analyzing the United States’ historical response to its own atrocities, Bender identifies and develops a definitive moral compass that guides us away from the policies and practices that lead to societal regret.
Mea Culpa challenges its readers. In a different era, might we have been slave owners or proprietors of a racially segregated establishment? It’s easy to judge immorality in the hindsight of history, but what current practices and policies will later generations regret?
More than a historical survey, this volume offers a framework for resolving some of the most contentious social problems of our time. Drawing on his background as a legal scholar, Bender tackles immigration, the death penalty, the war on terror, reproductive rights, welfare, wage inequity, homelessness, mass incarceration, and same-sex marriage. Ultimately, he argues, it is the dehumanization of human beings that allows for practices to occur that will later be marked as regrettable. And all of us have a stake in standing on the side of history that resists dehumanization.”
—From the publisher
Do you ever wonder how productive Seattle University’s law faculty is as far as scholarship? If so, some law professors at Roger Williams Law School have a website that ranks law faculty scholarship. The data is a bit dated but SU Law ranked number 11 in terms of “per capita productivity.” Pretty impressive, huh?