“Reforming Islamic Family Law in Lebanon: A Political Anthropology of Religion” Dr Jean-Michel Landry (November 21, 2018)

November 21, 2018

“Reforming Islamic Family Law in Lebanon: A Political Anthropology of Religion”

Dr Jean-Michel Landry (McGill University)
12:30pm to 2:00pm, Room 2027 Osgoode Hall Law School

RSVP Required: www.osgoode.yorku.ca/research/rsvp

What does legal activism tell us about the way Islamic family law is constructed and applied in the Middle East? Over the last decades, the problem of gender-based custody allocation has sparked intense mobilizations across the region. In Lebanon, Sunni and Shi‘i citizens led two parallel campaigns to modify the shari‘a-derived norms enforced in custody disputes. Their efforts produced perplexing results: while Sunnis Lebanese succeed in modifying the legislation, the Shi‘a failed to bring about even a modicum of change. How could two parallel campaigns mobilized around the same issue, launched in the same country, and executed at the same time produce such opposite results? By following courses of action taken by Sunni and Shi‘i activists, paying attention to their mistakes, failures and achievements, we gain a new perspective on the making of religion-based family law, and its entanglement with the legal grammar of secularism.

Jean-Michel Landry is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University and an affiliated researcher at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016.  His work focuses on secularism, religion, gender and political anthropology. He received the 2016 Best Dissertation Award from the Association of Middle East Anthropology for his dissertation, entitled The Practice of Shi‘i Jurisprudence in Contemporary Lebanon.

In collaboration with:

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UT Study of Religion