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Muslims In Western Canon Law, 1000-1500

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Chapter Summary

The chapter surveys references to Muslims within the normative literature of the Catholic Church: statements of popes incorporated into legal collections and canons of ecumenical and local councils, along with scholarly commentaries and treatises. Canon law, as Christian religious law is called, was one of several legal systems simultaneously operative within medieval Europe. Civil authorities established and enforced their own legal systems, built on the foundations of Roman law and local custom; the relationship between canonical and civil norms regarding Saracens depends on a variety of local political factors. Jewish and Islamic communities in Europe, moreover, employed their own laws for internal purposes. We should not forget the distinction between Jewish and Islamic law on the one hand and, on the other, 'Jewry' and 'Saracen' law, namely Christian laws related to Jews and Muslims respectively. This chapter assesses the relationship between Saracen law and Jewry law.

Keywords: canon law; Catholic Church; Christian religious law; Jewry law; legal system; Muslims; Roman law; Saracen law



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