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Law, Selfness, and Kinship in Medieval Karaism

  • Insitute for Israel and Jewish Studies 1140 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

What establishes a relationship between two individuals that makes them members of a kin? What does it mean to have an affinity and to belong to a meaningful group? What role does the law play in acknowledging or constituting belongingness?

The lecture will address these questions by focusing on a very special historical moment in which the notions of selfness, kinship and belonging were formulated anew through a legal reform of the medieval Karaite law. We trace, evoke and articulate these notions through analysis of commentaries and firsthand accounts on a major legal change that took place through the eleventh century.

Supported by the generosity of the Kaye Family.

Joseph E. David is a Visiting Professor (Adjunct) of Law at Yale Law School and a Visiting Professor at the Program in Judaic Studies at Yale University. He is an Associate Professor of Law at Sapir Academic College in Israel. His research focuses on Law and Religion, Legal History, Comparative Law, and Jurisprudence.