Jewish and Muslim Circumcisions in Germany
About The Event
Speaker: Professor Lena Salaymeh, University of Oxford
Date: March 2, 2021 @ 12:30PM – 1:45PM
Venue: Online (via Zoom)
Organized by: Bonavero Institute of Human Rights
This talk by Professor Lena Salaymeh is based on an article, co-authored with Shai Lavi, that is forthcoming in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. They demonstrate that the legal reasoning dominant in modern states secularizes traditions by converting them into ‘religions’. Using a case study on Germany’s recent regulation of male circumcision, they illustrate that religions have (at least) three dimensions: religiosity (private belief, individual right and autonomous choice); religious law (a divinely ordained legal code); and religious groups (public threat). When states restrict traditions within these three dimensions, they construct ‘religions’ within a secularization triangle.
This theoretical model of a secularization triangle illuminates that, in many Western states, there is a three-way relationship between a post-Christian state and both its Jewish and Muslim minorities. These two theoretical proposals—the secularization triangle and the trilateral relationship—contribute to a re-examination of religious freedom from the perspective of minority traditions and minority communities.
Professor Lena Salaymeh is a British Academy Global Professor at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford. She is a scholar of law and history specializing in critical theory. She uses interdisciplinary and critical methods to ask historical, historiographic, and jurisprudential questions about Islamic law and Jewish law in the late antique, medieval, and modern eras…
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