Religion and Personal Law in Secular India

Religion and Personal Law in Secular India

A Call to Judgment
Edited by Gerald Larson
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/28/2001
Format: Paperback 1 figures, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21480-5
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Description

Though a directive principle of the constitution, a uniform civil code of law has never been written or instituted in India. As a result, in matters of personal law—the segment of law concerning marriage, dowry, divorce, parentage, legitimacy, wills, and inheritance—individuals of different backgrounds must appeal to their respective religious laws for guidance or rulings. But balancing the claims of religious communities with those of a modern secular state has caused some intractable problems for India as a nation. Religion and Personal Law in Secular India provides a comprehensive look into the issues and challenges that India faces as it tries to put a uniform civil code into practice.

Contributors include Granville Austin, Robert D. Baird, Srimati Basu, Kevin Brown, Paul Courtright, Rajeev Dhavan, Marc Galanter, Namita Goswami, Laura Dudley Jenkins, Jayanth Krishnan, Gerald James Larson, John H. Mansfield, Ruma Pal, Kunal M. Parker, William D. Popkin, Lloyd I. Rudolph, Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, Sylvia Vatuk, and Arvind Verma.

Author Bio

Gerald James Larson is Rabindranath Tagore Professor of Indian Cultures and Civilization and Director of the India Studies Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is author of India's Agony over Religion and Classical Samkhya: An Interpretation of Its History and Meaning and co-editor of Interpreting across Boundaries: New Essays in Comparative Philosophy and The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, vol. 4, Samkhya: A Dualist Tradition in Indian Philosophy.

Reviews

“With no written uniform civil code of law, in matters of personal law concerning such matters as marriage, parentage, and inheritance—individuals of different religious backgrounds must appeal to their respective religious laws for guidance or rulings. These essays provide a comprehensive look into the issues and challenges that India faces as it tries to put a uniform civil code into practice. Readers seeking deeper understandings of Indian history and culture will find a sensitive handling of the tensions between religious law and the claims of a modern, secular state in this timely volume.”

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