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Research Workshop: Islamic Law and the Authority of Kinship—Katherine Lemon...

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Institute of Islamic Studies

170 St. George Street

Jackman Humanities Building, Seminar Room 530

Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8

Canada

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Drawing on ethnographic research in shari‘a courts (dar ul-qazas) in the north Indian cities of Delhi and Patna, this talk argues that the regulation of kinship is a key site of secular governance. The regulation of kinship produces some of the oppositions—between public and private, secular and religious—upon which political secularism relies. That kinship is a site of secularism is in part an effect of the Indian legal system, in which dar ul-qazas link a problem of political secularism—the question of what secular states’ relationship to religious law ought to be—to a problem of kinship—the question of what spouses should do when a marriage is failing. The talk further argues that to fully account for the link between political secularism and kinship requires an analysis of the modes of authority that intersect in and animate these family disputes and their adjudication.

Katherine Lemons is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at McGill University. Her research is in the areas of anthropology of Islam, religion, law, and gender. Her forthcoming book,Divorcing Traditions: Islamic Marriage Law and the Making of Indian Secularism(Cornell University Press) argues that the regulation of kinship in religious legal forums is central Indian secularism. Her new project, Traveling for Justice, is a study of the movement of Islamic legal knowledge and adjudication practices from a seminary in India to three other Muslim-minority states.

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Institute of Islamic Studies

170 St. George Street

Jackman Humanities Building, Seminar Room 530

Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8

Canada

View Map

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