• Vita

    Ido Shahar is a senior lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, University of Haifa. He is trained both as a historian and as an anthropologist, and his research combines these two disciplines. His primary areas of specialization are the legal sphere in Muslim societies and legal pluralism, and his research focuses mainly on religious courts as institutions, among them shari‘a courts, ecclesiastical courts and Druze courts.

  • Research Project

    Ecclesiastical Courts in the Holy Land: Church and State, Autonomy and Anarchy in a Pluri-Legal Environment

    (a book manuscript, co-authored with Prof. Karin Carmit Yefet)

    Given the dearth of studies concerned with Christian family law in Israel, we know very little about the operation of the ecclesiastical courts in the country, about their institutional, legal and cultural characteristics, about their interpretive capacities and judicial activism, or about their interaction with civil courts and with other denominational courts. We also know very little about the gendered negotiations that transpire both inside and outside the courtroom, or about the resistance strategies developed by and for Christian litigants in the shadow of the law.

    The proposed book project seeks to redress this lacuna by providing a pioneering analysis of the ecclesiastical courts belonging to various Christian denominations in Israel: Greek-Orthodox, Roman-Catholic, and Melkite-Catholic. The interpretative framework that will underlie the proposed book will be markedly pluri-legal. Our point of departure is that legal pluralism is a core feature of the studied ecclesiastical courts, playing a constitutive role in their operation. In other words, these courts' interrelations with other tribunals and normative systems (civil and religious), as well as with state and church institutions, exert far-reaching effects on them and shape their judicial practices. Legal pluralism will thus serve as a central axis in the book. We will examine not only the manifestations and consequences of pluralism in the studied socio-legal arena, but also the sources of pluralism in this arena, i.e., the historical and institutional circumstances that brought about this pluri-legal arrangement. Hopefully, this will allow us to make both empirical and theoretical contributions to the study of legal pluralism.

  • Selected Publications

    Yefet, Karin Carmin/Shahar, Ido: Divorced from citizenship: Palestinian-Christian women between the church and the Jewish state, in: Law and Social Inquiry 48 (2023), 89-129.

    Shahar, Ido/Yefet, Karin Carmin: Kadijustiz in the ecclesiastical courts: Naming, blaming, reclaiming, in: Law and Society Review 56 (2022), 53–77.

    Shahar, Ido/Yefet, Karin Carmin: Rethinking the rethinking of legal pluralism: Towards a manifesto of a pluri-legal perspective, in: Law and History Review 41 (2023), 1-13.

    Yefet, Karin Carmin/Shahar, Ido: What God united the women will take apart? Christian agunot in Israel between agency and subjugation, in: Mehkarei Mishpat (accepted for publication).