Emerging Applications of Jewish Law in American Legal Scholarship, Part II: A Preface

Samuel J. Levine, Touro Law Center


In recent years, the field of Jewish law has gained increasing prominence in American law schools and legal scholarship. At the same time, in the realm of scholarship, a substantial body of literature has developed considering the relevance of Jewish legal thought to a variety of issues in the American legal system. As the substance, scope, and volume of this scholarship demonstrate, an analysis of Jewish law may prove helpful in providing comparisons and contrasts to both controversial and seemingly settled areas of American law. At the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, the Section on Jewish Law presented a program exploring emerging applications of Jewish law in American legal scholarship. This issue of the Journal of Law and Religion presents the second part of a symposium dedicated to the project of exploring emerging applications of Jewish law in American legal scholarship. Building on these and other contributions to the field, the current issue of the Journal expands the scope of the project in at least two significant respects. Substantively, the articles in this issue address a subject that has been relatively underdeveloped in the literature, the application of Jewish legal thought to areas of American commercial law. Moreover, the articles are authored by a professor of economics and an Israeli law professor, respectively, thus providing perspectives beyond those of American law professors, while incorporating both an interdisciplinary and an international component.