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What Does “Textuality of Law” Mean under the Conditions of Postmodernism?

What and How Can Secular Western Law “Learn” from Jewish Legal Thinking?

Karl-Heinz Ladeur

Pages 95 - 111

The article tries to develop a scheme for a comparative approach to Jewish legal thinking from the point of view of Western constitutional ideals. The Jewish concept of law is focused on the “study” of the Torah. This idea is fundamental because it leads to a conception of the law that differs from the Western understanding of the law as a rule that has just to be followed whereas the Jewish approach is based on the idea of a continuous processing of a reflection of the law, on the one hand, and its relationship to the practical societal forms of life, on the other. This leads to a processual conception of rule following that is opposed to Western assumptions about the law as a command. The Jewish understanding of the law could be used as a kind of mirror for Western law that will introduce more of a conception of law as culture and change the epistemology of Western law in a productive mode.


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