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Forum for comparing the legal discourses of religions

Forum for Comparative Research of Religious Legal Discourses

Drei Chisten streiten sich mit drei Juden.

רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר על שלשה דברים העולם עומד על הדין ועל האמת ועל השלום שנאמר אמת ומשפט שלום שפטו בשעריכם

(אבות א, יח)

Rabban Shimon, son of Gamliel, says: The world stands on three things:
on truth, on justice and on peace, as it is said:
'Truth and judgment of peace judge in your gates'.

(Proverbs of the Fathers 1, 18)

Rabban Simeon, the son of Gamliel, used to say: On three things the world stand:
on truth, on judgment and on peace; as it is said in Scripture:
'Judge you truthfully and the judgment of peace in your gates'.

(Ethics of the Fathers 1, 18)

The Forum for the Comparison of Legal Discourses of Religions, which is based at the Heidelberg University of Jewish Studies, aims to promote academic discussion of the various religious legal discourses.

It forms and maintains a working group of academics, including a further interdisciplinary group of interested parties, in which information on this topic is exchanged and which will meet once a year in Heidelberg to discuss fundamental comparative legal issues of the different religious traditions.

The focus of the comparison will be on Jewish law, Islamic law and canon law.

The legal-historical perspective is also linked to comparative legal issues of a systematic nature. For this purpose, the involvement of legal philosophers and legal theorists as well as legal historians, especially in the field of Roman law, is planned.


Management team:

Prof. Dr. Ronen Reichman

Talmud, Codices and Rabbinical Literature
University of Jewish Studies

Dr. Britta Müller-Schauenburg

Christianity and Coordination, Heidelberg University
of Jewish Studies Heidelberg

Junior Professor Dr. Jameleddine Ben Abdeljelil

Institute of Philosophy and Theology -
Department of Islamic Theology/Education,
Ludwigsburg University of Education

Cooperation partner:

Prof. Dr. Dr. Burkhard Josef Berkmann

Faculty of Catholic Theology
Klaus Mörsdorf Program for Canon Studies
University of Munich

Prof. Dr. Lic. iur. can. Thomas Meckel

Chair of Canon Law, Religious Law and Ecclesiastical Legal History
Philosophical-Theological University of St. Georgen
Frankfurt on the Main


Lebenswelt und Diskurs – Wandel jüdischer Traditionen im Wechselspiel von Lebenswelt und Diskurs

A BMBF-funded project to form a junior research group.

Duration: March 2015 - February 2016

By incorporating perspectives from modern social science and philosophical studies, a research approach is to be developed within the framework of the formation of a junior research group in order to give the discipline of "Jewish Studies" a new methodological orientation that will contribute to the development of tradition-building processes in Judaism. The approach pursued here aims to interpret the tradition-building processes as an interplay between the lifeworld in which they are anchored and the discourses that develop in and from the lifeworld.
lifeworld and discourse have a circular relationship: the lifeworld forms the horizon of meaning that enables and supports "communicative action" in general and discourses that negotiate claims to validity in particular. Discourses can negotiate the validity claims in question in an assertive or understanding-oriented manner. At the same time, they set the lifeworld into a dynamic that legitimizes, renews, subverts or disrupts it.
Only this interplay of lifeworld and discourse makes it possible to understand traditions in their slow, rapid and sometimes abrupt change.

Research team:

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Ronen Reichman

Dr. Asher Mattern

Vladislav Slepoy, M.A.