Contagion in theology and law

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

Justin Stearns

    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

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    theology
    dogma
    empiricism
    Law
    evidence
    natural disaster
    death
    event
    teacher

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Law

    Cite this

    Contagion in theology and law : Ethical considerations in the writings of two 14 th century scholars of Nasrid Granada. / Stearns, Justin.

    In: Islamic Law and Society, Vol. 14, No. 1, 01.03.2007, p. 109-129.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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