Journal Article

‘Not in Heaven’. What the Talmudic Tale on the Oven of Akhnai May Contribute to the Recent Debates on the Development of Catholic Canon Law

Judith Hahn

in Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

Volume 6, issue 2, pages 372-398
Published in print June 2017 | ISSN: 2047-0770
Published online February 2017 | e-ISSN: 2047-0789 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ojlr/rwx001
‘Not in Heaven’. What the Talmudic Tale on the Oven of Akhnai May Contribute to the Recent Debates on the Development of Catholic Canon Law

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ABSTRACT

This article focuses on a fundamental question of Roman Catholic Canon Law: the topic of divine law and its associated difficulties, especially those of the legal interpretation and development of the law. These problems, which are associated with pre-positive law, are primarily understood in religious legal orders as epistemological challenges and are, in any case, not only questions confronting the Roman Catholic tradition. They are present in the discussions of multiple religious communities, particularly in the Abrahamic Religions of the Book, which understand themselves as legal communities with reference to a divinely organized normative order. To highlight the general strands of the related discourses in religious legal theory, the epistemological problem of divine law is approached from a comparatist perspective, evaluating the Catholic canonical question against the background of similar problems present in Jewish legal theory. The famous Talmudic tale about the controversy over the oven of Akhnai serves as an impulse for comparative reflections.

Journal Article.  14360 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Law ; Human Rights ; Law and Society

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