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Divided By The Sermon On The Mount, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2020

Divided By The Sermon On The Mount, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Essay, written for a festschrift for Bob Cochran, argues that the much-discussed friction between evangelical supporters of President Trump and evangelical critics is a symptom of a much deeper theological divide over the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus told his disciples to turn the other cheek when struck, love their neighbor as themselves, and pray that their debts will be forgiven as they forgive their debtors. Divergent interpretations of these teachings have given rise to competing evangelical visions of justice. One side of today’s divide—the religious right—can be traced directly back to the fundamentalist critics ...


Christianity And Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Dec 2019

Christianity And Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Although the term “bankruptcy” is nowhere to be found in the Bible, debt and the consequences of default are a major theme both in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament. In Israel, as in the ancient Near East generally, a debtor who defaulted on his obligations was often sold into slavery or servitude. Biblical law moderated the harshness of this system by prohibiting Israelites from charging interest on loans to one another, thus diminishing the risk of default, and by requiring the release of slaves after seven years of service. Jesus alluded to the lending laws at least ...


Codifying A Sharia-Based Criminal Law In Developing Muslim Countries, Paul H. Robinson Apr 2019

Codifying A Sharia-Based Criminal Law In Developing Muslim Countries, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper reproduces presentations made at the University of Tehran in March 2019 as part of the opening and closing remarks for a Conference on Criminal Law Development in Muslim-Majority Countries. The opening remarks discuss the challenges of codifying a Shari’a-based criminal code, drawing primarily from the experiences of Professor Robinson in directing codification projects in Somalia and the Maldives. The closing remarks apply many of those lessons to the situation currently existing in Iran. Included is a discussion of the implications for Muslim countries of Robinson’s social psychology work on the power of social influence and internalized ...


Draft Report Of The Somali Criminal Law Recodification Initiative, Paul H. Robinson, Criminal Law Research Group Mar 2017

Draft Report Of The Somali Criminal Law Recodification Initiative, Paul H. Robinson, Criminal Law Research Group

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Government of Somalia and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) jointly commissioned the drafting of a modern criminal code for Somalia that embodies fundamental Islamic principles. The proposed code developed by the Criminal Law Research Group in cooperation with the major Somali players of the criminal justice process is a modern and comprehensive penal code incorporating numerous cutting-edge innovations in drafting forms, code structure, and criminal law doctrine. It is also the first and only such code incorporating the major tenets and principles of Islamic law as currently practiced in Somalia. This two-volume report to the Somali Working Group ...


Women And The Making Of The Tunisian Constitution, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Anware Mnasri, Estee Ward Jan 2017

Women And The Making Of The Tunisian Constitution, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Anware Mnasri, Estee Ward

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article attempts to glean from field interviews and secondary sources some of the sociopolitical complexities that underlay women’s engagement in Tunisia’s 2011-14 constitution-making process. Elucidating such complexities can provide further insight into how women’s engagement impacted the substance and enforceability of the constitution’s final text. We argue that, in spite of longstanding roadblocks to implement and enforce constitutional guarantees, the greater involvement of Tunisian women in the constitution drafting process did make a difference in the final gender provisions of Tunisia’s constitution. Although not all recommendations were adopted, Tunisian women were able to use ...


The Role Of Personal Laws In Creating A “Second Sex”, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Indira Jaising Sep 2016

The Role Of Personal Laws In Creating A “Second Sex”, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Indira Jaising

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The cultural construction of gender determines the role of women and girls within the family in many societies. Gendered notions of power in the family are often shrouded in religion and custom and find their deepest expression in Personal Laws. This essay examines the international law framework as it relates to personal laws and the commonality of narratives of litigators and plaintiffs in the cases from the three different personal law systems in India.


Veiled Women In The American Courtroom: Is The Niqab A Barrier To Justice?, Anita L. Allen Jan 2014

Veiled Women In The American Courtroom: Is The Niqab A Barrier To Justice?, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

U.S. courts and policy-makers have recently authorized laws and practices that interfere with the wearing of religious modesty attire that conceals the hair or face in contexts such as courtroom testimony or driver’s license issuance. For example, in response to a court’s dismissal of the case of a woman who refused to remove her niqab in the courtroom, the Michigan Supreme Court decided that judges can exercise “reasonable control” over the appearance of courtroom parties. But what degree of control over religious attire is reasonable? The Constitution will not allow a blanket niqab removal policy based on ...


The First Disestablishment: Limits On Church Power And Property Before The Civil War, Sarah Barringer Gordon Jan 2014

The First Disestablishment: Limits On Church Power And Property Before The Civil War, Sarah Barringer Gordon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Reality Of Moral Imperatives In Liberal Religion, Howard Lesnick Jan 2013

The Reality Of Moral Imperatives In Liberal Religion, Howard Lesnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper uses a classic one-liner attributed to Dostoyoevski’s Ivan Karamozov, "Without God everything is permitted," to explore some differences between what I term traditional and liberal religion. The expansive connotations and implications of Ivan’s words are grounded in the historic association of wrongfulness and punishment, and in a reaction against the late modern challenge to the inexorability of that association, whether in liberal religion or in secular moral thought. The paper argues that, with its full import understood, Ivan’s claim begs critical questions of the meaning and source of compulsion and choice, and of knowledge and ...


Hauerwasian Christian Legal Theory, David A. Skeel Jr. Oct 2012

Hauerwasian Christian Legal Theory, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Essay, which was written for a Law and Contemporary Problems symposium on Stanley Hauerwas, tries to develop an account of public engagement in Hauerwas’ theology. The Essay distinguishes between two kinds of public engagement, “prophetic” and “participatory.” Christian engagement is prophetic when it criticizes or condemns the state, often by urging the state to honor or alter its true principles. In participatory engagement, by contrast, the church intervenes more directly in the political process, as when it works with lawmakers or mobilizes grass roots action. Prophetic engagement is often one-off; participatory engagement is more sustained. Because they worry intensely ...


The Mosaic Law In Christian Perspective, David A. Skeel Jr., Tremper Longman Jun 2011

The Mosaic Law In Christian Perspective, David A. Skeel Jr., Tremper Longman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

When Jesus spoke of fulfilling the law and the prophets, he was referring to the Mosaic law, nearly all of which is in the four books we consider in this Article: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In an effort to discern the Mosaic law’s guidance for contemporary secular law, we first place it in covenantal perspective and identify three of its key concerns: God’s nature, as revealed in Scripture; the nature of Israel; and the role of the land. After summarizing the regulation in the four books under consideration and noting a few of its characteristics, we conclude ...


Veiled Women In The American Courtroom: Is The Niqab A Barrier To Justice?, Anita L. Allen Sep 2010

Veiled Women In The American Courtroom: Is The Niqab A Barrier To Justice?, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

U.S. courts and policy-makers have recently authorized laws and practices that interfere with the wearing of religious modesty attire that conceals the hair or face in contexts such as courtroom testimony or driver’s license issuance. For example, in response to a court’s dismissal of the case of a woman who refused to remove her niqab in the courtroom, the Michigan Supreme Court decided that judges can exercise “reasonable control” over the appearance of courtroom parties. But what degree of control over religious attire is reasonable? The Constitution will not allow a blanket niqab removal policy based on ...


The Unbearable Lightness Of Christian Legal Scholarship, David A. Skeel Jr. Jun 2008

The Unbearable Lightness Of Christian Legal Scholarship, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

When the ascendancy of a new movement leaves a visible a mark on American politics and law, its footprints ordinarily can be traced through the pages of America’s law reviews. But the influence of evangelicals and other theologically conservative Christians has been quite different. Surveying the law review literature in the 1976, the year Newsweek proclaimed as the "year of the evangelical," one would not find a single scholarly legal article outlining a Christian perspective on law or any particular legal issue. Even in the 1980s and 1990s, the literature remained remarkably thin. By the 1990s, distinctively Christian scholarship ...


The Paths Of Christian Legal Scholarship, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2008

The Paths Of Christian Legal Scholarship, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The history of twentieth century Christian legal scholarship– really, the absence of Christian legal scholarship in America’s elite law schools– can be told as a tale of two emblematic clashes: the first an intriguing historical footnote, the second a brief, explosive war of words. In the first, a tort action in Nebraska circa 1890,William Jennings Bryan and Roscoe Pound served as opposing counsel; the second was a war of words in the 1940s between a group of neo-Thomist scholars and defenders of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Using these two incidents to frame as a starting point, this essay briefly ...


Undressing Difference: The Hijab In The West, Anita L. Allen Jan 2008

Undressing Difference: The Hijab In The West, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

On March 15, 2006, French President Jacques Chirac signed into law an amendment to his country’s education statute, banning the wearing of "conspicuous" signs of religious affiliation in public schools. Prohibited items included "a large cross, a veil, or skullcap." The ban was expressly introduced by lawmakers as an application of the principle of government neutrality, "du principe de laïcité." Opponents of the law viewed it primarily as an intolerant assault against the hijab, a head and neck wrap worn by many Muslim women around the world. In Politics of the Veil, Professor Joan Wallach Scott offers an illuminating ...


What Were Jesus And The Pharisees Talking About When They Talked About Law?, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2008

What Were Jesus And The Pharisees Talking About When They Talked About Law?, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Of Neocolonialism, Common Law And Uncodifiable Shari’A: A Reply To Professor An-Na’Im, Paul H. Robinson, Adnan Zulfiqar Apr 2007

Of Neocolonialism, Common Law And Uncodifiable Shari’A: A Reply To Professor An-Na’Im, Paul H. Robinson, Adnan Zulfiqar

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In an earlier article -- Robinson et al., Codifying Shari'a: International Norms, Legality & the Freedom to Invent New Forms, http://ssrn.com/abstract=941443 -- the authors report the challenges and opportunities that arose during their commission by the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of the Maldives to produce the first modern comprehensive criminal code based upon Shari'a. In this brief essay they respond to published criticisms of that project, which asserted, among other things, that Shari'a cannot be codified, that it should not be codified, that the project was a shameful exercise in neocolonialism, that the ...


Christianity And The Large Scale Corporation, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2007

Christianity And The Large Scale Corporation, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Ask most people what they associate with “Christianity and the corporation” and, at least in the US, they may mention activist nuns calling for shareholder votes on sweatshop labor, nuclear weapons or divestment from South Africa, or perhaps a newspaper story about mutual funds that invest only in “faith friendly” corporations. Each is a contemporary manifestation of relations that run far deeper, and date back well over a thousand years. The early church spawned many of the largest corporate enterprises of the middle ages, and tenaciously promoted the concept of a collective entity distinct from the state. When the modern ...


"Free" Religion And "Captive" Schools: Protestants, Catholics, And Education, 1945-1965, Sarah Barringer Gordon Jan 2007

"Free" Religion And "Captive" Schools: Protestants, Catholics, And Education, 1945-1965, Sarah Barringer Gordon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Rhetoric Of Anti-Relativism In A Culture Of Certainty, Howard Lesnick Jan 2007

The Rhetoric Of Anti-Relativism In A Culture Of Certainty, Howard Lesnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Codifying Shari'a: International Norms, Legality & The Freedom To Invent New Forms, Paul H. Robinson, Adnan Zulfiqar, Margaret Kammerud, Michael Orchowski, Elizabeth A. Gerlach, Adam L. Pollock, Thomas M. O'Brien, John C. Lin, Tom Stenson, Negar Katirai, J. John Lee, Marc Aaron Melzer Nov 2006

Codifying Shari'a: International Norms, Legality & The Freedom To Invent New Forms, Paul H. Robinson, Adnan Zulfiqar, Margaret Kammerud, Michael Orchowski, Elizabeth A. Gerlach, Adam L. Pollock, Thomas M. O'Brien, John C. Lin, Tom Stenson, Negar Katirai, J. John Lee, Marc Aaron Melzer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The United Nations Development Program and the Republic of the Maldives, a small Muslim country with a constitutional democracy, commissioned this project to craft the country's first system of codified penal law and sentencing guidelines. This Article describes the special challenges and opportunities encountered while drafting a penal code based on Shari'a (Islamic law). On the one hand, such comprehensive codification is more important and more likely to bring dramatic improvements in the quality of justice than in many other societies, due in large part to the problems of assuring fair notice and fair adjudication in the uncodified ...


Christianity And The (Modest) Rule Of Law, David A. Skeel Jr., William J. Stuntz Aug 2006

Christianity And The (Modest) Rule Of Law, David A. Skeel Jr., William J. Stuntz

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Conservative Christians are often accused, justifiably, of trying to impose their moral views on the rest of the population: of trying to equate God's law with man's law. In this essay, we try to answer the question whether that equation is consistent with Christianity. It isn't. Christian doctrines of creation and the fall imply the basic protections associated with the rule of law. But the moral law as defined in the Sermon on the Mount is flatly inconsistent with those protections. The most plausible inference to draw from those two conclusions is that the moral law - God ...


The Consciousness Of Religion And The Consciousness Of Law, With Some Implications For Dialogue, Howard Lesnick May 2006

The Consciousness Of Religion And The Consciousness Of Law, With Some Implications For Dialogue, Howard Lesnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Final Report Of The Maldivian Penal Law & Sentencing Codification Project: Text Of Draft Code (Volume 1) And Official Commentary (Volume 2), Paul H. Robinson, Criminal Law Research Group -- University Of Pennsylvania Jan 2006

Final Report Of The Maldivian Penal Law & Sentencing Codification Project: Text Of Draft Code (Volume 1) And Official Commentary (Volume 2), Paul H. Robinson, Criminal Law Research Group -- University Of Pennsylvania

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The United Nations Development Programme and the Government of the Maldives commissioned the drafting of a penal code based upon existing Maldivian law, which meant primarily a codification of Shari'a. This is the Final Report of that codification project. A description of the process that produced this Report and the drafting principles behind it, as well as a discussion of the special challenges of codifying Islamic criminal law, are contained in an article at http://ssrn.com/abstract=941443.


"Sovereignty" Issues And The Church Bankruptcy Cases, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2005

"Sovereignty" Issues And The Church Bankruptcy Cases, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


No Other Gods: Answering The Call Of Faith In The Practice Of Law, Howard Lesnick Jan 2003

No Other Gods: Answering The Call Of Faith In The Practice Of Law, Howard Lesnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Avoiding Moral Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2003

Avoiding Moral Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Speaking Truth To Powerlessness, Howard Lesnick Jan 1999

Speaking Truth To Powerlessness, Howard Lesnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Religious Lawyer In A Pluralist Society, Howard Lesnick Jan 1998

The Religious Lawyer In A Pluralist Society, Howard Lesnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


"Our National Hearthstone": Anti-Polygamy Fiction And The Sentimental Campaign Against Moral Diversity In Antebellum America, Sarah Barringer Gordon Jan 1996

"Our National Hearthstone": Anti-Polygamy Fiction And The Sentimental Campaign Against Moral Diversity In Antebellum America, Sarah Barringer Gordon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.