PUBLISHED:October 16, 2018

The Beginnings of Islamic Law

Lena Salaymeh: The Beginnings of Islamic Law -- Late Antique Islamicate Legal Traditions, Oct. 30, 12:30pm Lena Salaymeh: The Beginnings of Islamic Law -- Late Antique Islamicate Legal Traditions

Tuesday, October 30
Room 4047 | 12:30 p.m.

Professor Lena Salaymeh, Tel Aviv University and Princeton University, will discuss her award-winning book, "The Beginnings of Islamic Law: Late Antique Islamicate Legal Traditions" (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2016). Showing how Muslim jurists crafted their legal opinions by combining ancient norms, scripture, religious and scholarly precedents, local traditions, and social needs in unexpected ways, Prof. Salaymeh challenges modern preconceptions of Islamic law and illustrates the dynamic nature of Islamic jurisprudence in a contemporary setting. The program is a joint presentation of Duke Law's Center for International and Comparative Law, Duke University's Islamic Studies Center, and Duke University's Department of Religious Studies. Lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact Balfour Smith at


Lena Salaymeh, Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University's The Buchman Faculty of Law, is a Visiting Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University's Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies during the 2018–2019 academic year. She researches and teaches Islamic and Jewish jurisprudence in both historical and contemporary legal systems. Prof. Salaymeh's book, The Beginnings of Islamic Law: Late Antique Islamicate Legal Traditions (Cambridge University Press, 2016) explores how critical historiography can illuminate Islamic legal beginnings and was awarded the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion, Textual Studies. She has published in Law and History Review, Law & Social Inquiry, Islamic Law & Society, Journal of Legal Education, and The Immanent Frame. Her forthcoming publications use critical feminist theory and critical secularism studies to examine contemporary controversies about law and religion. Prof. Salaymeh earned her Ph.D. in Legal and Middle Eastern History from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School; she is a member of the California Bar. (Her publications can be downloaded at