Jurisprudence and Theology

In Late Ancient and Medieval Jewish Thought

  • Joseph E. David

Part of the Studies in the History of Law and Justice book series (SHLJ, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Legal Reasoning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Joseph E. David
      Pages 3-10
    3. Joseph E. David
      Pages 11-24
    4. Joseph E. David
      Pages 25-43
    5. Joseph E. David
      Pages 45-57
    6. Joseph E. David
      Pages 59-82
    7. Joseph E. David
      Pages 83-93
  3. Knowing and Remembering

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 95-95
    2. Joseph E. David
      Pages 97-121
    3. Joseph E. David
      Pages 123-138
    4. Joseph E. David
      Pages 139-150
    5. Joseph E. David
      Pages 151-170
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 171-182

About this book


The book provides in depth studies of two epistemological aspects of Jewish Law (Halakhah) as the ‘Word of God’ – the question of legal reasoning and the problem of knowing and remembering.

-   How different are the epistemological concerns of religious-law in comparison to other legal systems?
-   In what ways are jurisprudential attitudes prescribed and dependent on theological presumptions?
-  What specifies legal reasoning and legal knowledge in a religious framework?

The author outlines the rabbinic jurisprudential thought rooted in Talmudic literature which underwent systemization and enhancement by the Babylonian Geonim and the Andalusian Rabbis up until the twelfth century. The book develops a synoptic view on the growth of rabbinic legal thought against the background of Christian theological motifs on the one hand, and Karaite and Islamic systemized jurisprudence on the other hand. It advances a perspective of legal-theology that combines analysis of jurisprudential reflections and theological views within a broad historical and intellectual framework.

The book advocates two approaches to the study of the legal history of the Halakhah: comparative jurisprudence and legal-theology, based on the understanding that jurisprudence and theology are indispensable and inseparable pillars of legal praxis.


Comparability of Jewish-Islamic Jurisprudence Concepts of diversity Covenantal Community Dialectic of the Kalām Divine Memory Dual-Stratum Paradigm Epistemology and Legal Theology Error and Tolerance Founding Narratives of the Babylonian yeshivot Halakhic Comparative Jurisprudence Heteronomy, Promise and Commitment Historicizing Memory Islamic Jurisprudence Judicial Discretion (Shiqqul HaDa’at) Judicial error Law and Violence Law and violence Legal Analogy Legal reasoning and judicial discretion Memory and theory of knowledge Neo-Platonic Dialectic Post-Talmudic Rabbis Rabbinic Memory Rabbis oppose legal reasoning Scripta in Cordibus Hominum Second Temple and the Mishnah Structure and Theology The Hazard of Obliviousness The Intellectual Metamorphosis Toleration and legal pluralism Violence and Lex Naturalis Violence as Judicium Dei What does the Law Earn from Violence

Authors and affiliations

  • Joseph E. David
    • 1
  1. 1.Sapir Academic CollegeIsrael

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-06583-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-06584-7
  • Series Print ISSN 2198-9842
  • Series Online ISSN 2198-9850
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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