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GENDER, VIOLENCE, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN ISLAM: MUSLIM FEMINIST SCHOLARS IN THE PUBLIC EYE

  • Shannon Dunn (a1)
Abstract

Three recent books focused on law, gender, and Islam not only make important individual contributions to the field of law and religion, but together, in their attention to issues of gender, sex, violence, and law, signal an important development in both this field and the field of Islamic studies. This state of the field essay examines Kecia Ali's revised and expanded edition of Sexual Ethics and Islam, Ayesha Chaudhry's Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition, and Hina Azam's Sexual Violation in Islamic Law. Individually and collectively, these works shed light on the way that societies use gender as a fundamental tool of social organization and hierarchy. While Ali, Chaudhry, and Azam focus mainly on the classical Sunni Islamic tradition, their insight has wider methodological import for the study of law and religion. Further, they illuminate the intellectual diversity within the Islamic tradition, both in the past and in the present. In doing so, they draw attention to the process of how the intellectual tradition is retrieved and appropriated in contemporary contexts. Finally, their work is historical and descriptive as well as normative: this kind of scholarship challenges the distinction in the study of religion between these two categories. Ali, Chaudhry, and Azam each places her observations and arguments about classical Sunni Islamic texts and traditions in productive conversation with ethical and legal questions that Muslims face today.

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Journal of Law and Religion
  • ISSN: 0748-0814
  • EISSN: 2163-3088
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-law-and-religion
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