Kadijustiz in the ecclesiastical courts: Naming, blaming, reclaiming

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The article analyzes Israel's ecclesiastical court system through the prism of Weberian theory to both empirical and theoretical ends. On the empirical level, it aims to illuminate a grossly understudied socio-legal arena—the communal Christian courts in the Middle-East. On the theoretical level, it seeks to reclaim the Weberian concept of kadijustiz, which refers to “formally irrational” legal systems. In recent decades, scholars have engaged in a process of “blaming” that discredited the conceptualization of Islamic law as kadijustiz and resulted in the concept's erasure from socio-legal theory. After renaming it to the more neutral and non-Orientalist richterjustiz, we employ this new-old concept to analyze Israel's ecclesiastical courts and demonstrate its theoretical and analytical merits. The article concludes with several theoretical propositions, which draw on the empirical case study and contribute to the refinement of Weberian theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-77
Number of pages25
JournalLaw and Society Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Law and Society Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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