Contagion in theology and law: Ethical considerations in the writings of two 14 th century scholars of Nasrid Granada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Black Death, which struck al-Andalus in the second half of the 8th/14th century, was an unprecedented natural disaster. In this essay I examine the legal and ethical responses of two Granadan scholars to the social and intellectual challenge posed by this event. Whereas previous scholarship has almost universally lauded the stridently critical stance of the wazir Ibn al-Khatīb as an exceptional example of rational empiricism, I argue that his stance is more productively understood when compared to that of his teacher Ibn Lubb. Both scholars articulated an ethical response to an insurmountable challenge from within a medical and legal framework. Their interpretive choices and conclusions were based not so much on one scholar's privileging of empirical evidence over legal dogma, or vice versa, as they were on both scholars' grounding their respective statements in differing understandings of the nature of the evidence at hand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-129
Number of pages21
JournalIslamic Law and Society
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

Fingerprint

theology
dogma
empiricism
Law
evidence
natural disaster
death
event
teacher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

@article{9e17c140ea044b0b936b57c16066c84f,
title = "Contagion in theology and law: Ethical considerations in the writings of two 14 th century scholars of Nasrid Granada",
abstract = "The Black Death, which struck al-Andalus in the second half of the 8th/14th century, was an unprecedented natural disaster. In this essay I examine the legal and ethical responses of two Granadan scholars to the social and intellectual challenge posed by this event. Whereas previous scholarship has almost universally lauded the stridently critical stance of the wazir Ibn al-Khatīb as an exceptional example of rational empiricism, I argue that his stance is more productively understood when compared to that of his teacher Ibn Lubb. Both scholars articulated an ethical response to an insurmountable challenge from within a medical and legal framework. Their interpretive choices and conclusions were based not so much on one scholar's privileging of empirical evidence over legal dogma, or vice versa, as they were on both scholars' grounding their respective statements in differing understandings of the nature of the evidence at hand.",
author = "Justin Stearns",
year = "2007",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1163/156851907780323852",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "14",
pages = "109--129",
journal = "Islamic Law and Society",
issn = "0928-9380",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Contagion in theology and law

T2 - Ethical considerations in the writings of two 14 th century scholars of Nasrid Granada

AU - Stearns, Justin

PY - 2007/3/1

Y1 - 2007/3/1

N2 - The Black Death, which struck al-Andalus in the second half of the 8th/14th century, was an unprecedented natural disaster. In this essay I examine the legal and ethical responses of two Granadan scholars to the social and intellectual challenge posed by this event. Whereas previous scholarship has almost universally lauded the stridently critical stance of the wazir Ibn al-Khatīb as an exceptional example of rational empiricism, I argue that his stance is more productively understood when compared to that of his teacher Ibn Lubb. Both scholars articulated an ethical response to an insurmountable challenge from within a medical and legal framework. Their interpretive choices and conclusions were based not so much on one scholar's privileging of empirical evidence over legal dogma, or vice versa, as they were on both scholars' grounding their respective statements in differing understandings of the nature of the evidence at hand.

AB - The Black Death, which struck al-Andalus in the second half of the 8th/14th century, was an unprecedented natural disaster. In this essay I examine the legal and ethical responses of two Granadan scholars to the social and intellectual challenge posed by this event. Whereas previous scholarship has almost universally lauded the stridently critical stance of the wazir Ibn al-Khatīb as an exceptional example of rational empiricism, I argue that his stance is more productively understood when compared to that of his teacher Ibn Lubb. Both scholars articulated an ethical response to an insurmountable challenge from within a medical and legal framework. Their interpretive choices and conclusions were based not so much on one scholar's privileging of empirical evidence over legal dogma, or vice versa, as they were on both scholars' grounding their respective statements in differing understandings of the nature of the evidence at hand.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34547687509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34547687509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1163/156851907780323852

DO - 10.1163/156851907780323852

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:34547687509

VL - 14

SP - 109

EP - 129

JO - Islamic Law and Society

JF - Islamic Law and Society

SN - 0928-9380

IS - 1

ER -