Matrilineal Adoption, Inheritance Law, and Rites for the Dead Among Hindus in Medieval Kerala

ESSAYS IN HONOR OF PATRICK OLIVELLE, Steven Lindquist, ed., Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2007

21 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2007  

Donald R. Davis

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Abstract

The Hindu law of adoption provides an exemplary case of the interaction of religion and law in traditional Indic discourse. Through an analysis the unusual case of matrilineal adoption in a late medieval legal text from the Kerala region, I argue that Hindu law rules from classic texts are neither dismissed outright nor accepted at face value. Instead, the motivations, procedures, and the notions of justice and religious efficacy of the Hindu law texts called Dharmasastra are translated into localized social, political, religious, and economic ways of life.

Keywords: Hindu law, adoption, inheritance, religion

JEL Classification: K11 ,K33, K40

Suggested Citation

Davis, Donald R., Matrilineal Adoption, Inheritance Law, and Rites for the Dead Among Hindus in Medieval Kerala. ESSAYS IN HONOR OF PATRICK OLIVELLE, Steven Lindquist, ed., Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=976381

Donald R. Davis (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

1240 Van Hise Hall
1220 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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