REL 335 - Hindu Law in Theory and Practice

(LAW 335) FDR: HU
Credits: 3

India produced one of the oldest legal systems in the world — one that offers some surprising contrasts with modern assumptions about the nature and scope of the law. Combining ethical and ritual obligations alongside rules for criminal and civil litigation, it was intended to cover every aspect of life, from personal habits to political institutions. The course begins with the ancient codes, Indian political theory, and documents from everyday legal practice in medieval times. The second half of the course begins with colonial-era British attempts to codify Hindu law; Hindu personal law in modern India; and the controversy over religion and secularism in the courts today, including the constitutional definition of "Hindu;" attempts to legislate against disapproved religious practices; and disputes over sacred spaces. We close with comparisons with legal reasoning about religion in America, Israel, and England, based on court cases. Lubin.

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