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Muslims in Eastern canon law, 1000–1500

(6,194 words)

Author(s): Freidenreich, David M.
            Although most members of the Eastern churches lived in a majority Muslim society, works of Eastern canon law from 1000 to 1500 devote relatively little attention to Muslims. Scholars of Eastern Christianity have studied the impact of Islamic law on its Christian counterpart, but the place of Muslims themselves within Eastern canon law has not previously been examined. The present essay surveys references to Muslims and other foreigners within the normative literature of the Armenian,…

Muslims in canon law, 650-1000

(6,930 words)

Author(s): Freidenreich, David M.
Scholars have devoted considerable attention to the place of Christians and Jews in Islamic law (see the following essay), as well as to the place of Jews in Christian legal literature. References to Muslims in Christian legal sources have not received comparable treatment. The present essay seeks to remedy this situation by surveying all such references dating from the seventh to the tenth centuries. 1  For reasons that will become clear in the paragraphs that follow, however, this essay doubtless falls short of the comprehensive coverage to which it aspires. Canon law, the religiou…

Christians in early and classical Shīʿī law

(5,805 words)

Author(s): Freidenreich, David M.
            Most Western research into Islamic law governing Christians and other non-Muslims focuses on Sunnī sources. This is to be expected, as Sunnīs have always comprised the vast majority of Muslims. Shīʿī treatments of this subject, however, differ in some significant ways from those of their Sunnī counterparts and therefore merit attention in their own right. Studies that do address the status of non-Muslims in Shīʿī law focus primarily on modern sources, specifically those that have sha…

Muslims in Western canon law, 1000-1500

(13,442 words)

Author(s): Freidenreich, David M.
Collections of Latin canon law published from the late 12th through late 15th centuries regularly include a section titled ‘On Jews and Saracens and their [Christian] servants’ ( De Iudaeis et Sarracenis et eorum servis). 1   This title is revealing in several respects. First, it reflects the fact that Roman Catholic canonists active during this period perceived this subject matter as a discrete topic and possessed a significant number of normative statements about it. We should not take this fact for granted: Gratian’s Decretum, the foundational text of classical canon law c…

Christians in Early and Classical Sunnī Law

(6,668 words)

Author(s): Freidenreich, David M.
Islamic law devotes considerable attention to regulations related to Christians, who comprised a significant minority population within the medieval Islamic Near East. Such regulations appear in numerous areas of law, and every compendium or treatise that addresses one or more of these areas is likely to address Christians. Comprehensive documentation of references to Christians in Islamic legal literature, of the sort attempted in the preceding essay on Muslims in canon law, is therefore practi…