The Spirit and the Flesh of Hindu Law

Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 130 No. 3, pp. 445-451, 2010

7 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2011  

Timothy Lubin

Washington and Lee University; Washington and Lee University - School of Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

The legal dimension of India’s cultural heritage, especially the scholastic dharma tradition in Sanskrit commonly known as, “Hindu law,” has, after a long hiatus, begun to attract attention, thanks largely to a series of major publications by Patrick Olivelle, which have made the primary sources more widely accessible and better understood. Now Don Davis has written a book on Hindu law ("The Spirit of Hindu Law," Cambridge University Press, 2010) that will interest readers of many backgrounds and interests. Specialists on dharmaśāstra will appreciate his very original views of the scope and aims of the tradition, as well as his judgments on vexed points. Those interested in South Asian religions, or Hindu traditions in particular, will be challenged to wrestle with his deliberately provocative assertions of the definitive role of dharmaśāstra in constituting what is, “Hindu.” Legal philosophers are urged to take instruction from Hindus on the nature and ends of law itself, and dharmaśāstra’s canonization of authority of customary norms (ācāra) extends the horizons of legal pluralism and legal realism. Denizens of the study of religion more broadly can look to this volume as a case study of law as, “the theology of everyday life.”

Keywords: Hindu law, Dharmashastra, Dharmasastra, Dharma, customary law, theology, India, Sanskrit, comparative law, religious law, religion, jurisprudence, philosophy of law

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Lubin, Timothy, The Spirit and the Flesh of Hindu Law (2010). Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 130 No. 3, pp. 445-451, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1867543

Timothy Lubin (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University ( email )

204 W Washington St
Lexington, VA 24450
United States
540-458-8146 (Phone)
540-458-8498 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://home.wlu.edu/~lubint/

Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )

Lexington, VA 24450
United States
540-458-8146 (Phone)
540-458-8498 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.wlu.edu/faculty/profiledetail.asp?id=297

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