EXC 2060 B3-19 - Islamic commercial law between religion and economy

Research Portal
in Process
Funding Source
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Project Number
EXC 2060/1
  • Description

    According to systems theory, the secularisation of law was an important precondition for the development of capitalist economy. Secular law is not determined by ethical posits and thus it can be more easily accommodated to the requirements of economy. Moreover, secular law is not heteronomous, for which reason it is more malleable and flexible than religious law, which tends to be bound by tradition or revelation. Islamic law is often considered a counterexample to secular law. Max Weber characterised it as a "stereotyped law of academics", rigid and lacking in practical relevance and preferring "material" (i.e. ethical) considerations over formal stringency. According to Weber, these qualities rendered Islamic law an obstacle to the development of capitalist economy. Weber's point of view was shared by many orientalists and has shaped the scholarly perception of Islamic law until today. The project seeks to reassess this perception of Islamic law on an empirical basis. It analyses how the religious character of Islamic commercial law materialises on the level of legal doctrine and how it has influenced the law's historical development. It examines the role of Islamic law in the juridification of economic conduct and seeks to assess its hampering or conductive effects on economic development.
  • Persons