Community Law

Charles Ramble

in The Navel of the Demoness

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195154146
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868513 | DOI:
  Community Law

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The distinction that has been made in earlier chapters between the community as an assemblage of individuals and as a collectivity is developed further through an examination of local legal institutions. The otiose local structures of national democracy are contrasted with the robust civil society that characterises Te and its neighbours. Village law is preserved through a set of unwritten oaths and written codes, both of which are examined in detail. Although these corpora are created by individuals, they serve the interests of the collectivity. Their subsequent inaccessibility to individual manipulation contributes to the creation of a transcendent community that exercises a powerful normative influence on those who devised it. The chapter revisits the problem, raised in the Introduction, of how an entity that has been devised by human action is reified and perceived to have an existence independent of its creators.

Keywords: local law; national democracy; civil society; oaths; codes; transcendent community; normative influence

Chapter.  21913 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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